Subject: Re: The Copyright Act preempts the GPL
From: Alexander Terekhov <TEREKHOV@de.ibm.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Feb 2004 11:27:46 +0100

John Cowan wrote:
>
> Alexander Terekhov scripsit:
> 
> > Why is it a derivative work? I could imagine "a computer" 
> > (interpreter) that can run "program tarballs". Why simple 
> > addition of an intermediate step (required to run the 
> > program) makes something a derivative work? Wouldn't that 
> > mean that I'll need your permission to use this or that 
> > compiler (in order to "prepare derivative work")? 
> 
> A compiled program is a derivative work of the source code because
> it is the result of a transformation of that source code, just as
> much as if natural-language text in Polish had been translated to
> French.

Note that

www.ipmall.info/hosted_resources/CopyrightCompendium/chapter_0300.asp

<quote>

A translation is a rendering of a work from one language to 
another, as, for example, a work translated from Russian into 
French, or from German into English. However, transliterations 
and similar processes by which letters or sounds from one 
alphabet are converted to another are not copyrightable since 
the conversion is merely a mechanical act. Thus, merely 
changing a work from the Cyrillic to the Roman alphabet would 
not be copyrightable.

</quote>

To me, compilers (and tools like http://world.altavista.com) 
do nothing but "transliteration", not "translation" in the 
legal sense. I may be wrong, of course.

> 
> If there is no compiled version, and you interpret the source code
> directly, then there certainly is no derivative work.

I think the same applies to the compiled program. Conversion 
by "mere mechanical act" doesn't constitute creation of 
derivative work.

regards,
alexander.

To:     Alexander Terekhov/Germany/IBM@IBMDE
cc:     licensing-discuss@opensource.org 
Subject:        Re: The Copyright Act preempts the GPL


Alexander Terekhov scripsit:

> Why is it a derivative work? I could imagine "a computer" 
> (interpreter) that can run "program tarballs". Why simple 
> addition of an intermediate step (required to run the 
> program) makes something a derivative work? Wouldn't that 
> mean that I'll need your permission to use this or that 
> compiler (in order to "prepare derivative work")? 

A compiled program is a derivative work of the source code because
it is the result of a transformation of that source code, just as
much as if natural-language text in Polish had been translated to
French.

If there is no compiled version, and you interpret the source code
directly, then there certainly is no derivative work.

If the code is Open Source, then of course you don't need my permission
to compile it, as that is implied in the general permission to make
copies and derivative works that all Open Source programs must have
by the OSD.

-- 
Henry S. Thompson said, / "Syntactic, structural,               John Cowan
Value constraints we / Express on the fly."     jcowan@reutershealth.com
Simon St. Laurent: "Your / Incomprehensible     
http://www.reutershealth.com
Abracadabralike / schemas must die!"            http://www.ccil.org/~cowan


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