[jsword-devel] Re: JSword license

Chris Little jsword-devel@crosswire.org
Tue, 30 Sep 2003 11:55:31 -0700 (MST)

On Tue, 30 Sep 2003, Mike Kienenberger wrote:

> Chris Little <chrislit@crosswire.org> wrote:
> > This describes the creation of a derivative work.  You've used a 
> > copyrighted work to understand the format and derived a work-a-like from 
> > that.  As a result, it must be GPL licensed.  You could remove the 
> > compressed module code and just deal with the raw files, releasing the 
> > result under Apache license or something else (you could even keep it 
> > proprietary).
> Can you provide me with a reference showing why knowing the format of the 
> data makes code using the data a derived work?  There is no commonality 
> between the c++ code used to convert an entire raw text file to a compressed 
> format and java code used to look up a particular verse.

The GPL is my reference, and it covers all our source code.

There's nothing wrong with knowing the format of our data, itself.  The
problem comes when you violate the terms of the license, to which you
agreed, that describes acceptable use of the code.

You may be right that this does not result in a derived work.  GPL 
actually bridges copyright and contract law.  Even if what you describe is 
not a copyright violation, it is nonetheless a violation of the terms of 
the license (as would be describing the format to a third party for the 
purpose of engineering a work-a-like, after having studied our code).