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Re: What exactly is Derivative ?

Paul Nathan Puri <publisher@ompages.com> writes:

> 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.

That is probably intentional. RMS seems to want "deriviative" to be
interpreted in as wide a sense as possible, so that as many other
programs as possible will be forced to be GPLed.

Offering a definition of "deriviative" would only serve to narrow the
definition in comparison with what the court would decide without a
definition: I don't think a license on a program can validly claim to
influence other programs that the judge would not, without
consideration to the license, deem covered by the original author's

I might be misreading you, but it seems you're saying that I could
write a program and distribute it with a notice saying:

   This program, or any of its deriviatives, may only me copied
   if you pay me $100 per copy.

   For the purposes of this note, a "deriviative" means any program
   whose source code include the use of the word "foo".

It's relatively clear to me that if I sued someone who dared to write
foo in his program, I would be told by the judge that I cannot make
other people's program deriviatives (in the copyright law's sense)
of mine simply by claiming so.

There must be some kind of intrinsic legal limit on which kind of
connections between programs that give the author of program A right
to set conditions on the distribution of program B.

As I see the discission, we're trying to figure out where that limit
is in connection with header inclusions.

Henning Makholm

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