Is inherited class a derivative work?

Forrest J. Cavalier III mibsoft at
Thu Oct 18 03:17:41 UTC 2001

> The discussion on this topic has been very interesting. I am unsure who posted
> the comment about the lawyers at FSF, but if that person could obtain clearance
> to post the complete explanation on why FSF has taken the position that the use
> of inheritance constitutes the creation of a derivative work, this might be
> extremely helpful for our discussion.  If this is a reliable legal position, it
> might discourage use of the GNU GPL. Hence, this is a rather important matter. 

I think this fits with RMS and FSF previously published
ideas (which were not from lawyers.)

For years RMS and the FSF have the stance that if there is only one
implementation of a library/API, and you write something which
links to it, your work is a derivative work of that library.
I expect the RMS/FSF reasoning is consistent in the case of
inherited class.

The library/API aspect is a topic discussed on license-discuss
in the past (in a number of threads regarding the GPL and
loopholes, if I recall.)

This is the first I have heard that FSF lawyers had a hand in
crafting a position on this particular topic.  Since the FSF
argument always seemed a little weak to me, I would like to read
the "lawyer-strengthened" position also.

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