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August 17, 2003

Thinking out loud about the GPL (and the RIAA)

I am by no means an attorney but that hasn't every stopped me from having great interest in the law and participating in its reading and interpretation.

Lately I've been following the General Public License (GPL) debate and also how it relates to the SCO/IBM suit. I have a feeling that the GPL will be upheld. So it got me thinking a few things.

1) If it is upheld, are all derivative works created with GPL licensed software really part of the public domain?
2) Has any music from any major recording label every been created, recorded, engineered, edited, manufactured, etc with the help of GPL licensed software?
3) Can it be proved it was?

If the answer is, "Yes" to all these questions then the music would be part of the public domain and the RIAA wouldn't be able to make a claim against its distribution.

Intriguing? Isn't it.

Posted in Politics & Law by usrbingeek at 2003-08-17 14:15 ET (GMT-5) | 2 Comments | Permalink


Actually, I would hope not, because you're referring to two distinct entities...the code of which the application is composed of and then the data which the application creates and manipulates.

In other words, if it was found that data created and/or manipulated by a GPLed application did not have specific copyright, then that would make adaption of GPL in the business world dead in the water.

Do you see the train of thought I'm following here? Personally, I do believe that code and data is different in this case.

Posted by: joy at August 17, 2003 03:17 PM

I understand what you are saying but from what I have read and understand is this is exactly what the GPL license intends.

This is just another example of the "copyleft." They want to see everything in the public domain and fully erode all intellectual property.

Posted by: #!/usr/bin/geek at August 19, 2003 04:47 PM

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