RE: Dual-Licensing Linux Kernel with GPL V2 and GPL V3

From: David Schwartz
Date: Fri Jun 15 2007 - 15:50:14 EST

> As long as it's not distributed "as part of a whole which is a work
> based on the Program", there's no problem.
> You seem to be suggesting that even linking the Program together with
> other stuff doesn't create a 'work based on the Program'. You seem claim
> it's "mere aggregation on a volume of a storage or distribution medium".
> Am I understanding you correctly?

Correct. Linking does not create a "work based on the program" because
linking does not create a work. Only a creative process can create a work.
Anything else is mere aggregation.

> Is there _anything_ which you admit would actually constitute a 'work
> based on the Program', when that work wouldn't have been be a derived
> work anyway?

These terms are synonymous. And neither of them can apply to something that
is not a work.

> Or do you claim that those whole paragraphs of the GPL are
> just meaningless drivel, when they explicitly make reference to applying
> the GPL to works which would _normally_ be 'considered independent and
> separate works in themselves'?

The license is just clarifying copyright law. Even if it intended to do
something else, it can't. The license cannot set its own scope.

> If your interpretation of the GPL means that those paragraphs don't make
> any sense at all, then I feel your interpretation may be suspect.

They make perfect sense. They're clarifications of copyright law to help
people who might not be familiar with the law understand what their
obligations under the license are. All of those sections are reasonable
explanations of what a "derivative work" is. It would be extremely strange
to try to parse them for subtle differences.

In any event, even if the GPL said "if you ever look at any source code to a
GPL'd work, the FSF owns everything you code after that", it wouldn't
matter. The GPL can't set its own scope. Copyright law, and the definition
of a derivative work, set the GPL's scope anyway.

The GPL only makes sense if you understand "mere aggregation" to mean 'as
opposed to creative combination'.


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