Subject: Re: Which license to use for MFC based software?
From: "Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M." <rdixon@cyberspaces.org>
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2004 16:44:44 -0400

[snip]
> Basic) and I will be releasing it under the GPL. Is dynamically
> linking my program with the Visual C++ (or Visual Basic) run-time
> library permitted under the GPL?

Forgive me, if I am responding to the wrong question. The thread to this
discussion is a little hard to follow.  The answer is yes, if the question
is strictly analyzed as a copyright question involving copyright law in the
U.S. It is important to remember that whether dynamic linking to a shared
library somehow creates a derivative work is a question of copyright law,
not the interpretation of a software license. Since the GPL does not reach
modifications that do not constitute derivate works (recall that the GPL is
supposed to be a copyright license, not a contract), the Copyright Act
applies in the first instance.  In that regard, section 117(a)(1) may apply;
that section ostensibly would permit an end-user, the lawful owner of a COPY
of the copyright-protected program, to run an open source program that calls
a run-time distributed by OS developer like Microsoft. Even if an open
source program made a highly unpredictable call to a shared library during
run-time and one could persuasively argue that in that instance the dynamic
linking, itself, created a modified work, section 117(a)(1) would seem to
render the "adaptation" permissible as a matter of Copyright law.

- Rod

Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M.
rdixon@cyberspaces.org
opensource.cyberspaces.org

DISCLOSURE  STATEMENT: This e-mail communication constitutes a written
document that may be subject to whatever;  it was not created during the
course of an attorney client relationship. The content is offered as
information only, not legal advice.


--
license-discuss archive is at http://crynwr.com/cgi-bin/ezmlm-cgi?3