Eric Schnell <schnell.9@...> writes:
> I have a colleague in the process of writing a book on
> database-backed Web pages for American Library Association
> Publications. For the examples, he is using
> apache, MySQL, and php. For authentication and session handling, he
> intends on using phplib, an Open Source php library available from
> The question he has is concerning his ability to use that library and the
> copyrightable status of any of the programming examples he includes in
> the book.
> If he uses this library, will A.L.A. be able to copyright the example
> program he writes that uses the library? The nature of the use
> 1) including a file that defines the classes to be used in the application
> 2) including another file that adds database
> abstraction,sessioning, and user authentication methods
> 3) data structures that get included in the MySQL database being
> developed used by the library
Sure, this should be fine.
Your colleague is not including the Apache code -- or MySQL code, or
PHPLib code -- itself as the examples, but rather code that he wrote.
His code may happen to depend on the interfaces defined by those
packages, but that's not the same as including actual text from the
packages (ignoring legally insignificant fragments such as datatype
Actually, even if he wanted to directly include text from those
libraries' code, he probably could, since their licenses are fairly
permissive. But he should check each project's license to make sure
> Any thoughts on these issues?
Completely agree with Michael McClennen's suggestion that your
colleague just publish the entire book under a Free license. Why not?
It's not going to hurt sales, it's compatible with the ALA's mission,
and it means that the work won't die if/when the publisher stops
Is there any non-winning aspect here? :-)
The GNU Free Documentation License is one option, another is the
http://opencontent.org/opl.shtml, and no doubt there are others
besides those for him to choose from.