How To Break The GPL

John Cowan jcowan at
Mon Mar 6 15:54:33 UTC 2000

Mark Shewmaker wrote:

> Remember, you can't even make an original Star Trek story without it being
> considered a derivative work of the series and movies.

Sure you can, provided you don't distribute it.  Otherwise it would violate
the author's copyright to make marginal notes in a book.  If you tried to
redistribute the book with your marginal notes in it, that would be a violation.
But you can redistribute just the marginal notes without affecting the copyright
of the original.

It's been done:  James Joyce scholar Hugh Kenner wrote a book consisting entirely
of his marginal notes to Joyce's work _Finnegans Wake_.  Kenner's work and
Joyce's are totally independent, although Kenner's book makes no sense
if you don't own Joyce's.


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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