Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 2nd May 2012 22:32 UTC, submitted by PLan
Legal "The European Court of Justice ruled on Wednesday that application programming interfaces and other functional characteristics of computer software are not eligible for copyright protection. Users have the right to examine computer software in order to clone its functionality - and vendors cannot override these user rights with a license agreement, the court said." Bravo. A landmark ruling, for sure. If the US courts decide in favour of Oracle in the Google-Oracle case, Europe would instantly become an even friendlier place for technology companies.
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cfgr
Member since:
2009-07-18

Yes, but what does the FSF say? Does dynamic linking to GPL code create a GPL "derived" work according to FSF?

What the FSF says is not really relevant. What matters is what the law says. As far as I can tell, this ruling points out that API's (i.e. things like names and signatures) are not copyrightable, only the actual implementation of that API is. Therefore it would be odd that you can end up with a derived work if you only use the API and do not include an actual implementation of that API (which is what dynamic linking does).

So from an engineering point of view, it would seem that when linking dynamically, you would be creating a derived work from something that is not copyrightable. I'm not a lawyer, but my guess is that this no longer makes it a derived work, in which case GPL would be equal to LGPL for dynamic linking (and interpreted languages), at least in the EU. It remains to be seen if that is the case in the USA as well.

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