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Re: What exactly is Derivative ?

Marcus Brinkmann <Marcus.Brinkmann@ruhr-uni-bochum.de> wrote:
> RMS is very actively pushing his intentions of the GPL. The GPL has
> a preambel, he is giving talks about this subject, answers questions
> privately and in public. It is hard to miss his opinions.
> He is also explaining what he thinks of derivative works, especially
> in conjunction with header files, libraries etc.
> My question is: Does this make any difference? You don't say exactly,
> but in your pro-GPL argument you speak about the social movement
> behind the GPL. This seems to be similar, although not identically.
> Could I, as a copyright holder, refer to RMS in this regard? Could the
> FSF (as copyright holder) refer to its public relations on this topic?

I think you mean to ask "Does this make any difference in a legal

If so, I think the answer is that it could, in some "minor" ways.

For an analogy, consider the relationship between the source for
a compiled program and the executable.  There's nothing specific
in copyright law which says that such binaries are derivative works
(derived from the source code).  However, for a variety of reasons --
many of which have to do with society's acceptance of the relationship --
everyone [including courts] seems to accept that binaries are covered
by the copyright on the source.


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