Is inherited class a derivative work?

Angelo Schneider angelo.schneider at
Wed Oct 24 12:11:33 UTC 2001

Hi all!

Michael Beck wrote:
> > For copyright law is only one thing interesting:
> > If you look at the piece of "derived work", can you still see the
> > original work?
> I would argue that it is sufficient that the original class "assumes a concrete
> or permanent form" in the derived class by referencing to it. See:

That case is not about derived work but about "plain" copyright
Derived work is something different.

> If I compare the inherited class against the above case (in a biased way <g>), I
> could argue that:
> The user has a compiler [engine] and the code for the original class [source art
> library]. You create the MAP file [inherited class] referencing the original
> class [source art library], and deliver it to the user. The user runs the
> compiler [engine] which creates the object file [visual display] containing the
> elements of the original class [source art library].
> If this comparison is valid, then according to the ruling, you have created a
> "derivative work".
> Further, the "fair use" wouldn't apply here, because according to the ruling,
> the inherited class "impinged on [my] ability to market new versions" of my
> classes. The fact that I published them as OpenSource doesn't take away the
> possibility that I could sell the code to a client (similarly to
> model).

Your sample has nothing to do with inheritance either ...

> > Several posters pointed out: in case of inheritance you can't. As the
> > name of the class you inherit from may poin to totaly
> > different files at the moment you compile.
> I believe that this has only impact on identifying from "which" class is the
> derivative work coming from, and whether you had a permission to derive a class.
> But it doesn't change the fact whether it is a "derivative work".

Well, the posters here tried to show you that no one needs a permission
of the author to derive classes from his classes.
As no one needs permission of the author to call functins in a library
the author wrote.

P.S. last psot for me, I answered at least 15 of your posts privatly

Angelo Schneider         OOAD/UML         Angelo.Schneider at
Putlitzstr. 24       Patterns/FrameWorks          Fon: +49 721 9812465
76137 Karlsruhe           C++/JAVA                Fax: +49 721 9812467
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