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From "Sam Ruby" <ru...@intertwingly.net>
Subject Re: fair use (was Re: What licenses in category X satisfy criterion #2?)
Date Wed, 05 Mar 2008 15:57:46 GMT
On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 10:37 AM, Joe Schaefer <joe_schaefer@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> --- Ralph Goers <Ralph.Goers@dslextreme.com> wrote:
>
>  > Criteria #2 refers to licenses like the GPL
>  > which says in part
>  >
>  > > The "Program", below,
>  > > refers to any such program or work, and a "work
>  > > based on the Program"
>  > > means either the Program or any derivative work
>  > > under copyright law:
>  > > that is to say, a work containing the Program or a
>  > > portion of it,
>  > > either verbatim or with modifications and/or
>  > > translated into another
>  > > language.
>
>  > So any program which uses a library licensed under
>  > the GPL must also be
>  > licensed under the GPL as they would be considered
>  > to be derivative
>  > works.
>
>  I will repeat my statement that a license
>  is not the arbiter of what is or is not a derivative
>  work.  The question to me is whether or not writing
>  some glue code to interface with some 3rd party
>  GPL'd code qualifies as fair use, and is therefore
>  not considered by the courts as a derivative work.
>
>  I believe this is in fact the case, but would
>  appreciate it if someone skilled in these matters
>  would offer an opinion here.

I am not a lawyer, and undoubtedly what I am about to say will be
oversimplifying things greatly, and I trust that any real lawyers or
real experts will correct me if I go too far astray.  Anyway, here
goes:

If we develop something, we can put what we develop under any license
that we so chose.

If we distribute something that is produced by a third party, we can
only distribute it under the terms and conditions that they allow.

Sometimes our downloads include code from third parties.  We are
clearly responsible for following the terms and conditions of those
licenses in such circumstances.

Sometimes our downloads do not include code from third parties.  That
may free us from obligation, but it is important to realize that it is
our intention to enable licensees of our code (this would be the
"second" parties involved in this third party discussion) to do with
as they please -- limited only by the the terms and conditions
specified in our license.  This includes uses ranging from being put
into Linux distros to being put in commercial products.

Our code having dependencies that would be incompatible with any or
all such uses effectively defeats the purpose behind us selecting such
a liberal license.

- Sam Ruby

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