Meld's Bazaar support

Robert Collins robertc at
Wed Aug 23 22:32:59 BST 2006

On Wed, 2006-08-23 at 07:36 -0400, Aaron Bentley wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> Robert Collins wrote:
> > On Tue, 2006-08-22 at 16:42 -0400, Aaron Bentley wrote:
> >> Hash: SHA1
> >>
> >> James Troup wrote:
> >>> John Arbash Meinel <john at> writes:
> >>>> That isn't legal.
> >>>
> >>> Err, you're mistaken.  Mixing BSD-without-advertising and GPL code is
> >>> absolutely fine.
> >>>
> >>> Linking a BSD-without-advertising program with a GPL library (or
> >>> importing a GPL module or whatever) simply creates a derived work
> >>> whose resulting license is GPL _and_ BSD-without-advertising.
> >> The problem is that Stephen wants to distribute the resulting work under
> >> the BSD license.  It would not be legal for him to do that.
> > 
> > He wants to ship the .pyc files ?
> > 
> > Rob-who-finds-that-hard-to-believe.
> No.  I don't see how that enters into it.  If the code is GPL, you can't
> change the license to BSD.  And if the code were BSD, it would be fine
> to distribute the .pyc files.  Or are you saying that .pyc files are
> derived works while .py files are not?

I am saying that .pyc files /may/ be derived works (depends on exactly
what the compiler does - whether it incorporates fragments of other .py
or .pyc files or not), but that .py files are clearly not derived works.

.py files do not contain the text of the libraries they use - by
analogy, if I write a review of a book without quoting it, my review is
not a derived work. .py files are reviews of the things they use. 

The closest .py files come to being tainted is via interface copyright,
and interface copyright is both hugely arguable, and something that
would be very bad for FOSS and the GPL if it is established to exist.

(Interface copyright is copyrighting the interface, not the description
of it for humans - and vastly different source files can generate the
same identical interface, which is why its not clear than an interface
can be copyrighted at all, and if it can be, then libraries such as
gettext become wide open to cloned implementations that offer the
interface, but suck, allowing people to /effectively/ link against the
GPL library without tainting - because they can claim that they built
against the BSD/whatever version. Interface copyright - can of freaking


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