Is inherited class a derivative work?

Michael Beck mbeck1 at
Wed Oct 24 09:50:35 UTC 2001

> -----Original Message-----
> From: email at [mailto:email at]
> Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2001 23:40

> The text of Bob's code is not cut and paste, it is not
> plagerism, yada yada.

It doesn't have to be Cut & Paste. Please see Micro Star v. FormGen:

> Copyright is limited to a specific stream of text.
> Alice wrote: "it was a dark and stormy night"
> Bob wrote: "rain fell after sunset"
> Alice cannot copyright all text that has the same
> meaning or functionality as her's, she can only
> copyright the specific stream of text "it was a dark and
> stormy night."

It doesn't have to be a "specific stream of text". See "non-literal" copying in
Altai v. CA (1992), as well as Micro Star v. FormGen.

> You copyright a 2story colonial,
> I copyright a garage intended to splice directly into your design.
> but no text, no diagrams, no drawings, nothing that is in your design
> is in my design. The only thing we have in common is that our
> interface is compatible. A user gets your blueprint for the house,
> and my blueprint for the garage, and then uses them together
> to build a house with an attached garage.
> I did not infringe on your copyright.

Correct, because what you have described above, is a composition, not

> what you're effectively saying is:
> "But I don't want people to use my house design if they're going
> to attach a garage to it."

No, what I am saying is that I don't want people to change my design within the
design boundaries (e.g. place a garage between living room and bedroom).


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