[linux-elitists] Re: [SPAM] Re: GPL Violations [was Re: Mobile Phone Choices]

Tilghman Lesher zgp-org@the-tilghman.com
Sat Jul 29 07:57:35 PDT 2006


On Saturday 29 July 2006 04:15, Rick Moen wrote:
> Please observe that whether something "links to" something else is,
> per se, irrelevant to the legal issue.
>
> Yes, you've read a whole lot of assertions to the contrary, by
> people clueless about copyright law (or, in some cases, knowing
> better but wishing the law actually said that).  Thus my point.

That's possibly true, subject to court interpretation, but in any
case, the argument about linking is mostly bound to the acts of
copying and redistributing.  In the case for which this thread
originated, my understanding is that the potentially infringing
product is an embedded hardware device, which, by its very nature,
necessitates the copying and distribution of GPL-licensed works, if it
links to GPL-licensed software.

It's worth noting that the opinion of the authors who wrote the GPL
is that linking is covered by the license (as evidenced by the clause
about the LGPL), as inclusion of the work (and would thus be a
derivative work), but that is still subject to the opinion of a court
of law.  Given how untested the GPL is, saying that linking is covered
is just as legally ambiguous as saying that linking is not covered.
It is untested and uncertain, either way.

IANAL.

-Tilghman



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