Subject: Re: Effect of the MySQL FLOSS License Exception?
From: jcowan@reutershealth.com
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2004 15:42:21 -0400

Rick Moen scripsit:

> Now, avoiding licence conflict is important, and there are often
> significant issues there, but the allegation (supposedly Prof. Moglen's)
> we were discussing was actual ownership of code -- the part about 
> a binary being a "derivative work" of various things.

Yes.  Is XY.exe, a statically linked executable, a derivative work of X.c and
Y.c, the source codes from which it was constructed?  That's the question.

> What I'm saying is that it's just not reasonable to suppose that a judge
> would say you've changed the ownership of my codebase just by compiling
> it together with someone else's codebase.  

Of course not.

> I suspect that substantively all of this lingering paranoia about
> people's property being forceably relicensed just because someone
> carried out such an operation derives from confusion on that point --

Obviously there can be no "forced relicensing"; it's a question of whether
certain types of moves create a derivative work or merely a collective work.

> and persisting in computerists' common but mistaken assumption that the
> law is a Turing machine.

Well put!

-- 
John Cowan  jcowan@reutershealth.com  www.reutershealth.com  www.ccil.org/~cowan
Rather than making ill-conceived suggestions for improvement based on
uninformed guesses about established conventions in a field of study with
which familiarity is limited, it is sometimes better to stick to merely
observing the usage and listening to the explanations offered, inserting
only questions as needed to fill in gaps in understanding. --Peter Constable
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