Is inherited class a derivative work?
Karsten M. Self
kmself at ix.netcom.com
Mon Oct 15 07:25:46 UTC 2001
on Mon, Oct 15, 2001 at 02:21:00AM -0400, Michael Beck (mbeck1 at compuserve.com) wrote:
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: greglondon at oaktech.com [mailto:greglondon at oaktech.com]
> > Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2001 11:48
> thanks for your comments.
> > first of all, you're mixing USE (inherit) with MODIFY. A derived
> > class is not a modification of the original.
> Derived class is a "derivative work", because it is "based" on, or
> "extends", the original class. "Using" would be instantiating an
> object from it - stand-alone, or as a part of another class
> (composition). There would be no "adaptation" of the existing class.
> According to Copyright law, a derivative work is "a work based upon
> one or more preexisting works". It includes any "form on which a work
> may be recast, transformed, or adapted." (17 USC Sec. 101).
US Copyright law applies to expression. It does *not* apply to factual
or functional characteristics of a work.
I'm neither a lawyer nor an OO programmer, but my understanding of an
API (which a class essentially is) is that it's largely functional. To
this extent, the functional characteristics of a class, and their
inheritence in a derived class, would not be governed by copyright.
Specific, non-functional, expression from the parent class would be
subject to copyright protection, and the derived class would be governed
by copyright law in use of same.
IANAL, TINLA, YADA.
Karsten M. Self <kmself at ix.netcom.com> http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
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