"Derivative Work" for Software Defined

David Johnson david at usermode.org
Fri Jan 17 02:00:40 UTC 2003

On Thursday 16 January 2003 08:37 am, Brian Behlendorf wrote:

> Can someone clear up the difference between "mere aggregation" and a
> "collective work"?  Is Red Hat Linux a "collective work" or a "mere
> aggregation" of many different software packages, some of them GPL,
> some under other open source licenses, some of them not?

>From Title 17, Section 101 -  Definitions:

'A ''collective work'' is a work, such as a periodical issue, anthology, or 
encyclopedia, in which a number of contributions, constituting separate and 
independent works in themselves, are assembled into a collective whole.'

'A ''compilation'' is a work formed by the collection and assembling of 
preexisting materials or of data that are selected, coordinated, or arranged 
in such a way that the resulting work as a whole constitutes an original work 
of authorship. The term ''compilation'' includes collective works.'

I can find no references to "aggregation" except in an unrelated area dealing 
with transmissions. I suspect the term is used in the GPL as a synonym for 
"collective work".

David Johnson
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