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3.5 The Copyright of the Output

gperf is under GPL, but that does not cause the output produced by gperf to be under GPL. The reason is that the output contains only small pieces of text that come directly from gperf's source code – only about 7 lines long, too small for being significant –, and therefore the output is not a “work based on gperf” (in the sense of the GPL version 3).

On the other hand, the output produced by gperf contains essentially all of the input file. Therefore the output is a “derivative work” of the input (in the sense of U.S. copyright law); and its copyright status depends on the copyright of the input. For most software licenses, the result is that the the output is under the same license, with the same copyright holder, as the input that was passed to gperf.