Subject: RE: Initial Developer's Public License
From: Alexander Terekhov <>
Date: Sat, 14 Feb 2004 11:34:40 +0100

"Lawrence E. Rosen" wrote:
> Courts don't issue advisory opinions. ...

Okay. For the sake of any possible benefit to anyone else who 
cares, here's some stuff that I think is rather interesting
(and highly entertaining ;-) ) reading. 

Note: follow the links/see the entire context.

A) <quote>

I hate to have to play this role with a fellow hacker, but...

If you don't change to using the GPL, then you'll have to stop 
using readline.  Readline's terms say that the whole program 
has to be under the GPL, and just having the user do the link 
doesn't change this.  If the program is designed to run with 
readline as a part, then readline is a part of it.


The FSF position would be that this is still one program, 
which has only been disguised as two.  The reason it is 
still one program is that the one part clearly shows the 
intention for incorporation of the other part.

I say this based on discussions I had with our lawyer long 
ago.  The issue first arose when NeXT proposed to distribute 
a modified GCC in two parts and let the user link them.  Jobs 
asked me whether this was lawful.  It seemed to me at the 
time that it was, following reasoning like what you are using; 
but since the result was very undesirable for free software, 
I said I would have to ask the lawyer.

What the lawyer said surprised me; he said that judges would 
consider such schemes to be "subterfuges" and would be very 
harsh toward them.  He said a judge would ask whether it is 
"really" one program, rather than how it is labeled.


B) <quote>

RMS: We have no say in what is considered a derivative work. 
That is a matter of copyright law, decided by courts. When 
copyright law holds that a certain thing is not a derivative 
of our work, then our license for that work does not apply 
to it. Whatever our licenses say, they are operative only 
for works that are derivative of our code. 


C) <quote>

Feel free to post/add this. I wrote it some time ago for a 
corporate lawyer who wondered what the "GPL exception" was. 
Names and companies removed not because I think they are 
ashamed, but because I don't want people to read too much 
into them.



D) <quote>

Here is a copy of a discussion that I had with RMS about 
the GPL. This was a private discussion, because RMS has 
rejected my proposal to talk about it on gnu.misc.discuss. 
That's the reason why I have removed all RMS's answers. 



I would like to have your opinion about this article :

The official FSF's opinion is "OSI is wrong".

Do you have a personal opinion about that ?
Maybe can we talk about it on gnu.misc.discuss ?


>     Does it mean that all Solaris programs are copyrighted 
>     by SUN ?
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You confirm what I'm thinking : you don't have any valid 



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