Is inherited class a derivative work?

Michael Beck mbeck1 at
Sat Oct 27 07:07:58 UTC 2001

> -----Original Message-----
> From: angelo.schneider at
> Sent: Thursday, October 25, 2001 20:50

> Well, and what is about all non open source software?
> For those it IS a issue if inheritance is (that is you
> speaking not me)derived work.
> AS I allready pointed out in several PMs: most software existing
> currently uses other software libraries delieverd from
> software vendors
> just for the sole purpose to derive classes from.


> If inheritance where derived work, nearyl all JAVA program existing
> would belong in copyright sence to: SUN.

> And the C++ program would "belong" to the vendor of the
> compiler used to
> compile it(as that vendor usualy supplies the needed
> libraries, like STL etc.

No, it's not so bad :)

The copyright of any derivative work is always yours, and it absolutely doesn't
belong to Sun or the C++ vendor. The only issue is the right to create such
derivative work, IF you want to distribute it to others.

But as Prof. Dixon pointed out, based or Section 117(a) you don't need this
right if you do it only for yourself, and if it was "an essential step in the
utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is
used in no other manner."

I am not aware of any compiler vendors who would limit the distribution of
derivative work. They only limit the files from their library that you can
distribute, so this way they can force any user of your code to buy their
compiler with their library, and generate more cash :)


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