On Sat, 2008-06-14 at 06:26 -0400, Alan Cox wrote:
> Nobody's talking about power over other unrelated works.
Yes you are.
No, he's not.
Obviously, the GPL _cannot_ assume 'power over other unrelated works'.
That would not be within the scope of a copyright licence.
As a copyright licence, the GPL only restricts your permission to
distribute derivative or collective works based on the original GPL'd
Under some circumstances², the GPL denies you permission to distribute a
collective work, where one of the independent and separate works which
comprise that collective work is the GPL'd Program, and another of the
independent and separate works which comprise that collective work is,
well, independent and separate.
But in that case, the restriction works purely by denying you permission
to distribute the GPL'd Program in that form, not by any magical 'power
over other unrelated works'.
The GPL phrases it thus:
Thus, it is not the intent of this section to claim rights or
contest your rights to work written entirely by you; rather, the
intent is to exercise the right to control the distribution of
derivative or collective works based on the Program.
To go back to the analogy with short stories...
I deny you the right to publish my short story in your anthology because
I don't think it goes well with the other stories you chose to include.
You seem to think you can go ahead and include my story anyway, on the
basis that the other stories I object to are "unrelated works", and that
copyright law does not grant me "power over other unrelated works".
But I don't need power over those unrelated works. I only need the power
to deny you permission to include _my_ work.
And that power is _precisely_ what copyright law gives me.
¹ Strictly speaking, of course it is copyright law which _restricts_ your
permissions, and the licence only grants some of those permissions back
to you. With certain conditions.
² And yes, we disagree on precisely _which_ circumstances, but unless those
three paragraphs of the GPL are just a long pointless no-op, there are
certainly _some_ circumstances where it does.