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Re: Fedora Freedom and linux-libre

Les Mikesell <lesmikesell gmail com> wrote:
> Alexandre Oliva wrote:


> >> With any other license, I could at least have done a diff against
> >> the original copies and my work and given that away

Nope. The diff is very clearly a work derived from the original (you just
can't cook up a difference to the original without the original; it doesn't
really matter if it is a diff or a sequence of ed(1) commands, or
instructions for a human to fix up the files). Creating such in the first
place needs permission from the copyright holder, distributing it even more

> > As long as your original work is not a derived work.  If it is, you
> > still need permission from the copyright holders of the original work,
> > to both create your derived work and to distribute the
> > collective/derived work.

> No one but the FSF claims that a patch is a derived work - or a
> separate component that links 2 others together but doesn't contain a
> copy of the others.

It isn't the FSF who claims that, they are just spelling out the relevant
legal situation.

> >> This doesn't happen with any license but the GPL.

> > Sorry, I don't know how you came to this conclusion, but it's
> > incorrect.
> > Try to create a derived work based on say Microsoft Windows or
> > Microsoft Word, if you happen to have them around, and to distribute
> > it, and see what happens.

> I'm not sure what you are talking about. It's a pretty safe bet that
> there is more code that relies on Microsoft libraries than anything
> else

So? It /uses/ the libraries in the way the relevant license spells out, and
you can the distribute what you build on them as said license allows. It
isn't taking pieces of said libraries and distributing modified versions of
them at all. Besides, you can get into hot water if you just ship your
program with some libraries (AFAIR, MSFT C (or perhaps some other language,
memory is a bit fuzzy) came with libraries that you had to get separate
"runtime licenses" for each user of a program developed with them).

>      and Microsoft does not try to stop people from distributing it.
> If anything, they encourage it by making a lot of tools and libraries
> available.

That they elect not to stop distribution is their own choice, they could
choose otherwise. And they are claiming that running stuff using said
libraries on a non-MSFT operating system is infringing...

> >>> This would be a prohibition of the GPL.

> >> Yes, in case it wasn't clear before, the specific prohibition that I
> >> consider unethical is that it takes away my choice to share my own
> >> work.

> > It doesn't.  Your own original work can't possibly be a derived work.

> Difference of opinion, I guess.

You guess wrong. If it is an original work of yours, it has absolutely no
relation to whatever other pieces.

>                                 The FSF says otherwise and that if the
> resulting 'work as a whole' would be be a derived work, then the
> components, including my own work, can't be distributed unless all are
> restricted by the GPL.

Your own work, if it depends intimately on the original, is clearly a
derived work. And you need the owner's permission to create it in the first
place. If said owner grants that permission only under the condition that
your modifications have to be distributed under GPL...

> > It does not grant you permission to distribute joint works you created
> > by deriving works from others' works in certain ways, so the
> > prohibition from copyright law remains in place.  See, you didn't have
> > that choice in the first place for the GPL to take away.  That's the
> > fundamental point that you're missing.

> I'm not missing anything.

Here we go again...

>                           I have my copy of a library,

... because you were granted the right of having a copy by the owner of the
relevant rights, which you got under certain conditions. And presumably the
owner of said rights allows you to create programs that use the library,
but they very well could prohibit doing so. Not unheard of, in any case.

>                                                        you have your
> copy.


>       Without the GPL, I can give you a copy of my original work that
> links to that library without imposing the GPL restrictions on it and
> any other related components.

OK, as long as you both respect the conditions under which you got the
library. I.e., if the conditions did include allowing you to create such
programs, and then distributing them.

>                               With the GPL, I can't.

Wrong, you can just as before.

>                                                       And the same
> applies even if we both have source and I have made a patch.

Using a library is one thing, taking its code and modifying it something
quite different; and distributing a copy of the original or a modified
version are yet again completely different. For each of those activities
you need separate permissions.
Dr. Horst H. von Brand                   User #22616 counter.li.org
Departamento de Informatica                    Fono: +56 32 2654431
Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria             +56 32 2654239
Casilla 110-V, Valparaiso, Chile 2340000       Fax:  +56 32 2797513

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