"Derivative Work" for Software Defined

PETERSON,SCOTT K (HP-USA,ex1) scott.k.peterson at hp.com
Fri Jan 17 13:54:25 UTC 2003

Brian --

I agree with Larry that "mere aggregations" are "collective works" (at least
in general; I would not discount the possibility that one might find some
nuance of "collective work" that is not present in some "mere aggregation").
Also, I'd note that not all collective works are mere aggregations. 

I read the GPL as giving permission to distribute the GPL-licensed code with
code under incompatible licenses when a part of some collective works (at
least those that are mere aggregations)(see the paragraph in GPL section 2
that mentions mere aggregations), but not when a part of all collective
works (see the two paragraphs preceding the mere aggregations paragraph). 

-- Scott
Scott K. Peterson
Corporate Counsel
Hewlett-Packard Company
One Cambridge Center
Cambridge, MA 02142
scott.k.peterson at hp.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Brian Behlendorf [mailto:brian at collab.net]
Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2003 10:40 PM
To: Lawrence E. Rosen
Cc: license-discuss at opensource.org
Subject: RE: "Derivative Work" for Software Defined

On Thu, 16 Jan 2003, Lawrence E. Rosen wrote:
> > Can someone clear up the difference between "mere
> > aggregation" and a "collective work"?
> As far as I can tell, a "mere aggregation" IS a "collective work."  The
> former term has no meaning in the copyright law.

OK, so I thought the GPL distinguished between the two - that having a GPL
program (I'm not thinking of the kernel here or other things reasonably
determined to be part of an "operating system", an allowance the GPL
makes) on the same CD as non-GPL bits, in a situation such as a Red Hat
Linux CD, was OK because it was "mere aggregation", which the GPL
explicitly allows, and not a "collective work", which the GPL states
*would* be under the GPL.  Maybe "mere aggregation" has no meaning w/r/t
copyright law, but am I mistaken in thinking the GPL makes the


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