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Re: What exactly is Derivative ?

Paul Nathan Puri <publisher@ompages.com> wrote:
> I would make that argument, but that's just me.  RMS made a big mistake by
> not defining all the legal terms.  One huge risk is that 'derivative' and
> 'copyright' will be divergently interpreted in various countries.  Many
> countries adhere to WIPO, but not all do.  The U.S. just recently brought
> its copyright laws in line with WIPO.

I disagree.

You're correct about the implications, but I think this was deliberate.
Look at it from RMS's viewpoint: any precedent set against the GPL on
this issue applies to all other copyrights as well.  If he artificially
constrained the scope of the GPL with respect to derivatives he'd be
opening up a potential loophole where you could have a program which
is a derivative, under copyright law, with some part of the program
restricted in some highly proprietary sense, yet have it be perfectly
legal to distribute that program even though it also includes GPLed code.

The way the GPL is written, people with vested interests in preventing
the free redistribution of some software are the ones that have to fight
the legal battles to restrict the applicability of copyright law.

I think that a version of the GPL written with broader coverage than that
of copyright law would work against the expressed purpose RMS has for the


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