"Derivative Work" for Software Defined
david at usermode.org
Wed Nov 13 03:24:41 UTC 2002
On Tuesday 12 November 2002 07:36 am, Ravicher, Daniel \(x2826\) wrote:
> Free / Open Source Software ("FOSS") licensing relies critically on the
> concept of
> derivative work since software that is independent, i.e. not derivative, of
> FOSS need not abide by the terms of the applicable FOSS license.
> Therefore, one
> is left to ask, just what is a "derivative work?" This article
> (http://www.pbwt.com/Attorney/files/ravicher_1.pdf) addresses that
> question. Your comments and thoughts would be most appreciated.
Some good information, but it doesn't really address the important questions
that may be facing open source developers:
1) If I include a five line macro in my software, will it be a derivative
work? (ditto for inline and regular functions) Is there a difference if this
macro is copied via cut-and-paste versus a reference to a header file?
2) What about templates and template instantiation by the compiler? This is an
important issue in C++. There are some major works that are nothing but
templates (stl, libsig++).
3) What about dynamic and runtime linkage? Is the mere availability of
functionality at runtime sufficient to determine derivation? Are all GUI
Windows programs derivatives of Microsoft's win32.dll?
3a) Related: does it make a difference if the library in question exports a
standard or otherwise common API?
4) Does OO inheritance (ei class derivation) constitute derivation in terms of
The AFC test might help a tiny bit for 1 and 2, but not for 3 or 4.
pgp public key on website
license-discuss archive is at http://crynwr.com/cgi-bin/ezmlm-cgi?3
More information about the License-discuss