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From "Roy T. Fielding" <field...@gbiv.com>
Subject Re: gdbm licence issue
Date Thu, 26 Feb 2004 02:16:13 GMT
> Use of the API is usually interpreted as forming a derivative work 
> under
> copyright law, and I'm certain it's the FSF's interpretation, which is
> what counts here.

Actually, no, the FSF is the only legal entity known to mankind that
interprets copyright law in that fashion, and has so far avoided the
question coming up in litigation.  US copyright law is quite clear
that you cannot create a derivative work simply by using the work.
The API may be used if it is described anywhere under terms that allow
reuse without restriction, including if it is described in a classroom
or lecture environment.  However, other aspects of the API (such as
comments within the header files) cannot be copied without creating
a derivative work.

If you want to be sure, though, ask the copyright holder and be
prepared to delete the file if they say that it is derived.

BTW, this has nothing to do with the 2.0 compatibility issue, which
has not yet been resolved.


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