MS-PL/GPL compatibility, was Re: For Approval: Microsoft Permissive License

Matthew Flaschen matthew.flaschen at
Thu Aug 23 21:22:49 UTC 2007

Alexander Terekhov wrote:
>> The GPL only applies to derivative works under U.S. copyright law.  If
> Yeah, right.

I should have said, "It only applies to derivative works or equivalent
under copyright law".  If everything is happening in the U.S., the U.S.
concept of derivative work is what counts.  Otherwise, it may fall under
foreign law, but the GPL (like every other copyright license) can't
forbid things that are already allowed by copyright law.

> I will say, therefore, the second discussion draft of GPL3 will not
> have any longer any dependency on the American copyright law idea of a
> "derivative work".

They mean the license itself doesn't refer to derivative works.  Of
course, enforcement of the GPL still requires (and can not extend) the
concept of derivative works (or equivalent).  However, what a derivative
work is varies from country to country so this phrasing wasn't
incorporated in the license.

Matt Flaschen

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