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    SubjectRe: GPL vs non-GPL device drivers
    > As a side note: The distinct wording of the GPL actually *invalidates* the 
    > GNU/FSF claim that dynamically linking a work with, say, the readline
    > library, means the work is a derivative of said library. The GPL states (in

    Not that I can see no, but you could take this to a list with lawyers not
    programmers on and improve life for both parties

    > clause 0) that the license only covers copying, modification and
    > distribution. Unless they are confusing "Linking" with "copying" or "creating
    > a derivative work" the claim is invalid - because, as it has been shown, a
    > mechanical process such as compilation or linking *cannot* create a
    > derivative work.

    If you take the microsoft windows source code and compile it yourself
    believe me you will get sued if you ship the resulting binaries and you
    will lose in court.

    Copyright law deals with the right to copy hence the name. Generally
    speaking your right to use a work you have a copy of isn't constrained
    (and isn't constrainable) by pure copyright, only by contract. The author
    of a book for example has no power to stop you boiling the book if you
    don't like it, or using it as bog paper.

    I would also note that the FSF makes no claim about dynamic v static
    linking, merely about derivative works - which is the boundary the law is
    interested in. Indeed the GPLv2 was written in the days where dynamic
    linking was quite novel which is one reason the LGPL talks about

    "For example, if you distribute copies of the library, whether gratis
    or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that we gave
    you. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source
    code. If you link a program with the library, you must provide
    complete object files to the recipients so that they can relink them
    with the library, after making changes to the library and recompiling
    it. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights."

    and says nothing about dynamic/static linking.

    > Related to that... Though a parser generated by Bison and a tokenizer
    > generated by Flex both contain large chunks of GPL'd code, their inclusion in
    > the source file that is to be compiled is mechanical - the true unique work
    > is in writing the file that is processed by the tool to produce the output.

    Flex is more complex because the resulting binary contains both compiled
    work of yours and a support library of FSF owned code (-lfl). The non
    computing analogy here is the difference between using a paint program to
    create a work, and using a paint program to create a work but also
    including other artwork (eg clipart). The same is true of the GCC compiler
    as it merges your work with supporting library helper code modules which
    are themselves creative works. Clearly you could replace those helper
    modules with your own work and the result would be different.

    A better example for your case might be indent where the program
    processes your work mechanically and produces an output that doesn't
    contain any other creative works, or most of intltools which merges
    translations mechanically. (the merge code is sometimes a little creative
    but thats in the sense of being a nuisance not in the legal sense of
    creative work)

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