Is inherited class a derivative work?

Chris Gray chris.gray at
Wed Oct 24 15:43:16 UTC 2001

Chloe Hoffman wrote:

> In the case of Java, there seems to be no need to rely on "fair use". The
> following is from, e.g., the JDK 1.1 documentation:
> Sun Microsystems, Inc. (SUN) hereby grants to you a fully-paid,
> nonexclusive, nontransferable, perpetual, worldwide limited license (without
> the right to sublicense) under SUN's intellectual property rights that are
> essential to practice this specification. This license allows and is limited
> to the creation and distribution of clean room implementations of this
> specification that (i) include a complete implementation of the current
> version of this specification without subsetting or supersetting, (ii)
> implement all the interfaces and functionality of the standard java.*
> packages as defined by SUN, without subsetting or supersetting, (iii) do not
> add any additional packages, classes or methods to the java.* packages (iv)
> pass all test suites relating to the most recent published version of this
> specification that are available from SUN six (6) months prior to any beta
> release of the clean room implementation or upgrade thereto, (v) do not
> derive from SUN source code or binary materials, and (vi) do not include any
> SUN binary materials without an appropriate and separate license from SUN.

Yes, but you might not want to rely on the above "nonexclusive,
perpetual, worldwide limited license".  For example, the requirement to
"implement all the interfaces and functionality of the standard java.* packages
defined by SUN" is worryingly ill-defined: which version is meant?  And the
requirement to pass the test suites can be problematic if they won't let you
them.  Then fair use seems interesting again ...

Chris Gray
VM Architect, ACUNIA

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