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Re: How long is it acceptable to leave *undistributable* files in the kernel package?

Humberto Massa writes:

> Brazilian copyright law distinguishes between derivative works,
> compilation works (in which the organization/selection/disposition of
> the contents *is* an intellectual creation on its own), and collective
> works (where you just select a load of works and bundle them
> together). Does not USC 17?

It makes the same distinctions, with a note that collective works
include compilation works.

>>  -- Article 4(b), Council Directive 91/250/EEC on the legal protection
>>  of computer programs
>>  The compiled kernel is almost certainly a derivative of the firmware
>>  included in it. A good lawyer might be able to get you out of this.
> This, I cannot accept. Mere aggregation does not create a derivative
> work: a derivative work is a transformation of something in something
> else. The *aggregation* of the works can be a copyrightable work
> (compilation) or not (collective). In both cases, in BR copyright law,
> you have to respect the licenses of the parts to redistribute; in the
> case of compilation, you have to respect the license of the work as a
> whole, too.

The GPL is clear about what you must do with respect to a derivative
work of a covered Program, but it also discusses collective works in
section 2: one mention tries to limit collective works and the other
allows certain collective works.  At least under US law, including the
Program in a collective work would be an exclusive right reserved to
the copyright holder, since copying the collection would involve
copying the Program or a derivative of it.

Temporarily setting aside the questions I raised elsewhere about
whether any kernel copyright holder has legal standing to complain, I
believe it goes back to the argument whether the "mere aggregation"
clause applies.


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