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

Rick Moen rick at
Thu Aug 23 23:39:50 UTC 2007

Quoting Lawrence Rosen (lrosen at

> Huh? The definitions of "collective work" [1] and "compilation" [2], while
> different in 17 U.S.C 101, are pretty similar.

I did not say compilation.  I said _compilation copyright_.  

I was told in sundry books on law[1] that a compilation copyright is the
title accrued to someone who creatively arranges other people's works,
e.g., the editor of an anthology.  It's the copyright title that this
general category of person automatically owns in the creative selection
and arrangement of other works, even if he/she owns title to none of
those constituent works.

IIRC, that term of art arises from caselaw in the United States, not 
from 17 U.S.C. directly.

[1] I think the first mention I encountered was in _Syslaw: The Sysop's
Legal Manual_, by Johnathan D. Wallace and Rees Morrison, 1988, but have
come across it in various other places since.

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