Subject: Re: Effect of the MySQL FLOSS License Exception?
From: Chuck Swiger <chuck@codefab.com>
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2004 14:36:44 -0400

On Jun 18, 2004, at 1:59 PM, jcowan@reutershealth.com wrote:
> Chuck Swiger scripsit:
>> Agreed.  For example, Apple has taken the GNU chess program and added  
>> a
>> different graphic front-end to make the Chess application run without
>> using X11 under MacOS X.  Are Apple's changes to GNU chess original
>> enough to qualify as a derivative work?
>>
>> I think John is correct: probably not.
>
> I don't know anything about that particular example: whether it is  
> trivial
> would depend on the structure of GNU Chess, about which I know nothing.

Well, someone interested in knowing more about this example could  
consider:

http://ftp.gnu.org/pub/gnu/chess/gnuchess-5.06.tar.gz
http://www.opensource.apple.com/darwinsource/tarballs/other/Chess 
-2.0.tar.gz

> But it might fall under the special exception that permits making  
> derivative
> works of software for the purpose of getting them to run on your  
> computer.
> Presumably this can be done by a third party, Apple in this case, as  
> well
> as by the owner of the computer.

It is not likely that this exception would apply since the unmodified  
GNU version provides a terminal/curses-based interface, and an  
X11-based graphical interface.

Both of those work fine under MacOS X, just as GNU Chess runs on  
Windows when using an X11 environment (ie, Cygwin).  Apple's changes  
enhance the program to run using the native graphical environment, but  
do not significantly alter, modify, or impact the behavior of the  
underlying chess program itself.

>> But if you look at the ~100 files which comprise an apache-1.3.xx
>> distribution (to pick a project for the sake of example), there are
>> strong connections between these files in terms of header file
>> dependencies, the presence of a unified build environment resulting
>> from GNU autoconf and the resulting Makefiles, etc.
>
> If you examine the short stories in a theme anthology, there may be
> strong connections between them too (and the stronger the connection,
> the stronger the copyright available on the collective work as such).
> But a theme anthology is still a collective work, just as much as a
> CD full of shovelware is.

A short story is a self-contained unit, even if it may be enhanced by  
the presence of other similar stories in your example of an anthology.

The relationship between individual files within the apache  
distribution is closer to the way individual chapters of a book are  
related, ones which contain cross-references to each other and to a  
common glossary of terms, or appendices, etc.  A single file from  
Apache is not self-contained and cannot be compiled by itself without  
referring to common structures defined by the various header files.

-- 
-Chuck

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