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Re: non-free firmware in kernel modules, aggregation and unclear copyright notice.

David Schwartz writes:

>>Copyright law only _explicitly_ grants a monopoly on preparation of
>>derivative works.  However, it is trivial, and overwhelmingly common,
>>for a copyright owner to grant a license to create a derivative work
>>that is conditional on how the licensee agrees to distribute (or not
>>distribute) the derivative work.
> 	This would, of course, only make sense if you *had* to agree to the license
> to *create* the derivative work. If you were able to create the derivative
> work under first sale or fair use rights, then the restrictions in the
> contract would not apply to you.

This would, of course, only make sense if fair use or first sale
rights *allow* the creation of derivative works.  I have seen nothing
in this thread or in the statutes to suggest that they do.

Do not forget that your copyright interest in a derivative work is
limited to the creative elements which you contributed.  Simply having
a license (or right) to create a derivative work does not permit you
to infringe the original work's copyright, which still subsists in the
derivative work insofar as the derivative work contains copyrightable
elements from the original work.

Even if some court agrees with your hypothesis that the compiled
program is a derivative work of the source (which I doubt would
happen), and you find some permission outside of the GPL to prepare
that derivative work, you still need permission to copy it further.

Michael Poole

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