Fwd: A Weird Interpretation of the GPL
migo at freeshell.org
Sun Apr 17 16:11:24 IDT 2011
You are very confused here, because it seems you miss the juridical
background. I strongly suggest you to start to learn the topic in
depth for several years before making any further comments on it.
The definition of "derived work" can not be a part of a license,
because this is a legal term discussed in Copyright Law. All licenses
stop to work if this Copyright Law stops to work. Only the court can
decide whether some piece of code or as a whole is a derived work of
an other piece of code (in which case it should be bound by the
license terms of the used code. if they allow derived works at all).
This is all license agnostic. I.e. the court's decision on whether
something is a derived work or wholly original work will be the same
regardless of the license used (BSDL, GPL or proprietary).
The developers can have their vision of how the court will act in
each case (and document it in FAQ or other documents), but they are
not the authority here, and the license can't really help here.
This question is out of the license scope.
It is wrong thus to call this vision as "interpetation of a license".
Your whole argument is wrongly based and void. It is astonishing that
you still continue with it, even after several years.
Please don't use the screwed logic. The GPL is Free Software.
The NMAP developers interpret the Copyright Law, not the license.
Your phrases like "violates the Free Software Definition" or "GPL
allows such blatant misinterpretations of it" or "GPL licences are so
vague" are more than misplaced. Please reword them to:
GPL being explicit is one of the most non-vague licenses.
Developers knowingly using GPL do not misinterpret it.
Copyright Law is vague regarding some software issues (linking?).
Developers have slightly different visions on Copyright Law.
On 17 Apr 2011 12:32:16 +0300, Shlomi Fish wrote:
> Hi Mikhael,
> you did not get this post to Hamakor discussions and to you due to
> an E-mail misconfiguration. Please read it and reply.
> -- Shlomi Fish
> ---------- Forwarded Message ----------
> Subject: A Weird Interpretation of the GPL
> Date: Friday 11 Dec 2009, 13:13:36
> From: Shlomi Fish <shlomif at iglu.org.il>
> To: Hamakor <discussions at hamakor.org.il>
> CC: Mikhael Goikhman <migo at homemail.com>
> Hi Mikhael and all!
> In the previous discussion about the FOSS Licences Wars, Migo has protected
> the GPL and the LGPL claiming they were the best strong copyleft and weak
> copyleft (respectively) licences , and that there was no point in phrasing
> shorter, easier to understand and shorter ones.
> However, as I discovered based on this Linux-IL discussion:
> NMAP added the following clauses of interpretation to the GPL (possibly mis-
> interpretation) at the top here:
> * Note that the GPL places important restrictions on "derived works", yet *
> * it does not provide a detailed definition of that term. To avoid *
> * misunderstandings, we consider an application to constitute a *
> * "derivative work" for the purpose of this license if it does any of the *
> * following: *
> * o Integrates source code from Nmap *
> * o Reads or includes Nmap copyrighted data files, such as *
> * nmap-os-db or nmap-service-probes. *
> * o Executes Nmap and parses the results (as opposed to typical shell or *
> * execution-menu apps, which simply display raw Nmap output and so are *
> * not derivative works.) *
> * o Integrates/includes/aggregates Nmap into a proprietary executable *
> * installer, such as those produced by InstallShield. *
> * o Links to a library or executes a program that does any of the above *
> Now this is not only not according to the commonly accepted interpretation of
> the GPL (which allows one to execute GPLed programs from other programs, and
> to re-use their output without restrictions), it also violates the Free
> Software Definition that reads:
> The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
> To his "defence", Fyodor (the nmap developer) said that:
> Software can be considered free software without being straight GPL.
> The BSD licenses are one example of this. Also, we don't claim that
> Nmap is plain GPLv2. And to reduce confusion even further, we're
> planning to change to a license like this somday:
> But we've been too busy coding to get it reviewed by an open source
> lawyer, and I believe that step is important as I'm a programmer and I
> don't pretend to be an expert in copyright law.
> So my question is, if the GPL allows such blatant misinterpretations of it,
> just so projects can wear the free software fig-leaf, what good is it? I
> download a GPLed program, use it in proprietary contexts, and then someone say
> "Wait! I've interpreted it just like the nmap people", and then I'm screwed.
> There's also:
> Can anyone really trust the GPL licences if they are so vague?
> Shlomi Fish
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