"Derivative Work" for Software Defined

David Johnson david at usermode.org
Thu Jan 16 03:16:38 UTC 2003

On Wednesday 15 January 2003 07:14 am, PETERSON,SCOTT K (HP-USA,ex1) wrote:

> That is not the same thing as saying that D has the positive
> legal right to combine anything that D wants with X's material when
> distributing X's material. To distribute both X's material and Y's
> material, D requires permission of both X and Y. X could decide to decline
> to give that permission for the case where X's material was distributed on
> the same medium with Y's material.

Reading a later message from you, I finally see what the '+' means in your 
"A+B". It means a separate object C that is derived from both A and B. This 
isn't aggregation. I believe the proper term is "compilation", which is a 
form of derivative work.

For example, Stephen King couldn't place a copyright-based license on his 
books that would affect the distribution of Dean Koontz books that happened 
to be sitting on the same book shelf. Neither could he do it for a story of 
his published in a magazine. But he *could* use a copyright-based license 
that affected the distribution of the magazine, which also happened to 
contain a story by Dean Koontz.

A magazine is an example of a compilation. It's what you would call "A+B". The 
copyrights of the individual stories and articles cannot affect each other, 
but they could affect the magazine.

A+B Magazine requires the permission of both author A and author B to publish 
their stories. But A+B Magazine does not need the permission of A in order to 
publish B, or vice versa, without a contract in place to the contrary. On the 
other hand, A could use a copyright-based license that would affect the 
distribution of A+B Magazine. Such a license might force the magazine not to 
publish both stories in the same issue.

The GPL section two is addressing such a situation. It states that the license 
does not cover other articles in the magazine, but that it does affect the 

David Johnson
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