Is inherited class a derivative work?

Randy Kramer rhkramer at
Wed Oct 24 16:10:19 UTC 2001

Rod Dixon wrote:
> I agree that this thread is interesting, although there has been some
> confusion over the derivation of sub classes from a base class in
> object-oriented programming and the meaning of derivative work as a matter
> of copyright law. Interestingly enough, some of the confusion emanates
> from the ill-conceived ways copyright doctrine applies to software, not
> just misunderstandings of copyright law. I published an article in the
> Columbia Science & Technology Law Review( that, among other
> things, makes
> the claim that some OO-programming practices demonstrate why the scope of
> protection of copyright for source code is far too extensive. One could
> make a persuasive showing that programming practices that use inheritance,
> encapsulation, polymorphism, and similar practices demonstrate thata great
> deal of  source code constitutes a cauldron of ideas, and only a scintilla
> of original expression. Hence, OOP supports the idea of  open source.


Thanks for the response.  Is that the article with the title "When
Efforts To Conceal May Actually Reveal:".  (I guess the appropriate link
to refer someone to is (or
maybe which takes you to
that link).  Yes, I guess the second one is the official citation.)

I have found it and will read it (after I search for "encapsulation" in
an effort to confirm it is the right article.  Oops, I guess there is no
easy way to search the text of the article -- I'll start by skimming it.

If that is not the right article would you please give me a link to the
right article?

Randy Kramer
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