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Re: What exactly is Derivative ?

On Thu, 25 Mar 1999, Raul Miller wrote:

> 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
> sense"?
> 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.
> -- 
> Raul

This is correct.  However, whether something is a derivative is the
difficult and unpredictable question.

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