OSD Model Code -- Article 1 (Free Distribution)

Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. rdixon at cyberspaces.org
Wed Jan 22 00:06:46 UTC 2003

I suppose I read the OSD as setting up a guideline ABOUT the distribution of
aggregate software (Art. 1) while the GPL essentially excludes aggregated
software from its terms; the latter is a negation of scope of applicability
while the former is a shall not restrict.

"In addition, mere aggregation of another work not based on the Program
with the Program (or with a work based on the Program) on a volume of
a storage or distribution medium does not bring the other work under
the scope of this License."

Hence, under the GPL, whether a mere aggregation constitutes a compilation
depends upon the facts. This is an entirely distinct matter from art. 1 of
the OSD, which does not limit its scope in the same manner as the quoted
excerpt from the GPL. Larry's proposed change would solve this problem by
taking the OSD out of the aggregate software business, which essentially
puts us closer to the GPL.


----- Original Message -----
From: "John Cowan" <jcowan at reutershealth.com>
To: "Mark Shewmaker" <mark at primefactor.com>
Cc: <lrosen at rosenlaw.com>; "'Rod Dixon'" <rodd at cyberspaces.org>;
<license-discuss at opensource.org>
Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 11:55 AM
Subject: Re: OSD Model Code -- Article 1 (Free Distribution)

: Mark Shewmaker scripsit:
: > (That is, I've always assumed that you can't claim that you've put
: > together a "mere aggregation" of programs while at the same time
: > claiming that you've been creative enough in your selection to warrant a
: > compilation copyright on the whole thing.)
: As far as I can see, the term "mere aggregation" in the GPL is equivalent
: to "compilation" in the Copyright Act.  (IANAL, TINLA).  Which leads to
: a subsidiary question:
: Is there a distinct right in the copyright-bundle to control the use of
: works in collective works (a species of compilations)?  If there is no
: distinct right, is it subsidiary to the right to copy the work, or perhaps
: the right to make derivative works?  Collective works typically contain
: only verbatim copies, suggesting that it is the right to copy that is
: relevant; however, the statute everywhere treats compilations and
: works in the same way (with the exceptions of compilations of phonorecords
: and compilations made by archivists for preservation, which are treated
: separately).
: > I'm worried that your new Article 1 might restrict licenses from making
: > claims on collections that are more than mere aggregations, because even
: > though those collections for which a compilation copyright is claimed
: > are necessarily a derivative work (IMHO),
: That doesn't seem to be the case.  Compilations and derivative works are
: distinct according to both the explicit definitions and the implicit usage
: in the Act.
: Again, IANAL, TINLA.
: --
: Said Agatha Christie / To E. Philips Oppenheim  John Cowan
: "Who is this Hemingway? / Who is this Proust?   jcowan at reutershealth.com
: Who is this Vladimir / Whatchamacallum,
: This neopostrealist / Rabble?" she groused.     http://www.ccil.org/cowan
:         --author unknown to me; any suggestions?

license-discuss archive is at http://crynwr.com/cgi-bin/ezmlm-cgi?3

More information about the License-discuss mailing list