On the value of EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL
Posted Oct 6, 2005 15:01 UTC (Thu) by dwmw2
In reply to: On the value of EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL
Parent article: On the value of EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL
I believe the central point here is what the "work" is. The aggregation clause says that simply distributing things together does not make them part of a single work, for purposes of the GPL. However, if the pieces are part of a single work (as, for instance, code linked into the kernel), then the collective clause applies.
That is indeed the question. Certainly, when a bunch of different programs are collected onto a CD and distributed, that would clearly be "mere aggregation
" -- although some Linux distributions do, interestingly, claim copyright on the whole distribution as a collective work, which is an interesting problem in itself.
However, if the parts are interdependent, and each cannot usefully function without the other, it would be much harder to claim that it's "mere aggregation". The two examples I gave were cases where the individual parts were clearly part of a greater whole, rather than being related to each other only by their coincidental presence in the same location. Obviously there is no 'correct' answer until/unless it's tested in court, but I find it hard to believe that "mere aggregation" could be argued in those cases.
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