how much right do I have on my project, if there are patches by others?

Rick Moen rick at
Mon Jul 9 05:43:26 UTC 2007

Quoting Matthew Flaschen (matthew.flaschen at

> Must every derivative work (made by a different author than the
> original) involve either a joint or collective work?

The law sets that up as a logical dichotomy concerning multi-author
works, based on the authors' intent.

If you can, nonetheless, think of some bizarre way for a multi-author
work to be (in your view) something else, please do let us know.

> From the Raymond essay, "Campbell vs. Lavery is appellate case law
> indicating that collaboratively-written software is a collective rather
> than joint work when programmers function in identifiable
> author/contributor roles."  This (and probably other parts) gave me the
> understanding that collective and joint works must involve collaboration.

Some multi-author works are collaborative.  _Those_ (specifically, those
involving software) were addressed by the cited court decision.  Not all
multi-author works are collaborative (e.g., MTT, Columbia Jazz Band, and

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