Is inherited class a derivative work?

Chris Gray chris.gray at
Fri Oct 19 12:53:38 UTC 2001

Michael Beck wrote:

> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Angelo Schneider
> > Sent: Thursday, October 18, 2001 05:33
> > As I pointed out allready: linking to an API is not, I repeat: not a
> > derived work.
> > "derived work" is a legal term. You can not redefine it in
> > your license.
> Why are in insisting that "deriving a new class" is equal to "linking to an
> API"? Unless you believe that a class cannot be copyrighted, please see the
> class as a copyrighted entity, the same way as you see a book.
> If we agree that class is a copyrighted entity, then inheritance is NOT calling
> individual functions of that class. If you make changes to the class via
> inheritance - you add new elements, you modify existing elements - you are
> adapting this class to be or do something different than it was designed to be
> or do.

If I write a class which extends java.util.Dictionary, then whose implementation
of java.util.Dictionary am I adapting:
  - GNU Classpath's?
  - Kaffe's?
  - Sun's?
  - our (ACUNIA's) own?
  - a student in (say) Teheran whose JVM project I haven't even heard of yet?



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