Subject: Re: Effect of the MySQL FLOSS License Exception?
From: Rick Moen <>
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 2004 11:56:14 -0700

Quoting Ihab A.B. Awad (
> On Fri June 18 2004 11:11, Rick Moen wrote:

> > Yes, it would be nice if the concept of derivative work were further
> > clarified (in the software context) by our courts.  But I can't see why
> > running it through a compiler would affect anyone's ownership.
> Well, would it depend on the specifics of the "aggregation" in question?

No, _ownership_ would not.

To repeat, the most that any licensing issues emerging from someone
else's source code can do is create a state of licensing conflict, such
that one might not lawfully redistribute the composite in question.

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.

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.  There would obviously be
nothing equitable about that.  Hence, it is profoundly unlikely.

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

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