BSD / GPL compatibility - Derived vs. Fair Use

John Cowan jcowan at
Wed Feb 16 18:56:13 UTC 2000

Joe Mason wrote:

> If the next version of the GPL were to include a section saying, "For the
> purposes of this license, a 'derivative work' is defined as..." it would
> go a long way toward clearing up these problems.

Unfortunately, such a definition would be of little or no effect.
The GPL, again, is an act of power by the copyright holder, voluntarily
surrendering some of his rights granted by various national copyright acts.

As such, the relevant definitions of terms like "derivative work"
are given by those copyright acts and their judicial interpretations.


Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis vom dies! || John Cowan <jcowan at>
Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau,  ||
Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau,           ||
Und trank die Milch vom Paradies.            -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)

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