Is inherited class a derivative work?
mbeck1 at compuserve.com
Sat Oct 13 10:54:52 UTC 2001
We have a discussion going on internally about inheritance. Some people believe
that when you subclass/inherit/derive a new class, you are creating a
"derivative work" in the copyright sense, especially when you override existing
methods. Others believe that "inheritance is delegation of implementation and
aggregation of interface", and therefore it is NOT a derivative work.
Interestingly enough, at:
Laurence Rosen states that:
A derivative work is not created by merely touching any more than one catches
AIDS by merely hugging. In copyright law terms, one must create "an original
work of authorship." An author must consciously recast, transform, or adapt the
GPL-licensed software (all of which are forms of "modification") before the GPL
applies to the new software.
which would suggest that a derived class, as an "adapted" class, is a
Also commonly calling the new class a "derived class" would indicate that it is
a "derivative work".
The issue is related to following: If we release a software under OpenSource
license, we want that any modification to the software and any derivative work
go back to the community. The scary scenario is that somebody will inherit a
class, make some modifications to it, and then claim that since it's not a
"derivative work", s/he doesn't have to publish it, and the new class is his own
Who is right in copyright terms?
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