"viral" (was RE: Licensing options for firmware)

John Cowan jcowan at reutershealth.com
Wed Apr 6 18:02:32 UTC 2005

Forrest J. Cavalier III scripsit:

> Copyright law gives the original author control over derivative works.

Control of a certain kind and to a certain degree, not control tout
court.  Basically, if Bob wishes to create a derivative of Alice's work,
he needs a license from Alice, with the usual exceptions for de minimis
(making notes in the margins of Bob's copy of Alice's book doesn't count),
fair use, and the public domain.

Once the license is obtained and the derivative work is created, it is
Bob who is the copyright owner and not Alice:  Bob can sue if Charlie
pirates his work, grant a license to Dave to publish copies or make a
further derivative, and so on.  Alice has nothing to say (except for
the possibility that she might revoke a bare license unsupported by
consideration of any sort).


But the next day there came no dawn,            John Cowan
and the Grey Company passed on into the         jcowan at reutershealth.com
darkness of the Storm of Mordor and were        http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
lost to mortal sight; but the Dead              http://reutershealth.com
followed them.          --"The Passing of the Grey Company"

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