Viral permissiveness

John Cowan cowan at
Sat Jan 24 02:48:40 UTC 2009

dtemeles at scripsit:

> In short, a non-exclusive licensee of code cannot sue others for
> "infringing" copyrights in that code because he has no copyrights in it.
> He would have copyrights only in the modifications he created.

Not quite.  If a derivative work is made under license from the original
creator, then the maker has full copyright in the derived work, and could
(for example) sue for infringement of parts that were copied from his
work even if they were also part of the original work.  The questionable
part is whether a work made by linking new code to old is a derivative
work or not; most people think it is.

IANAL; this is not legal advice, but it is not the unauthorized practice
of law either.

Barry gules and argent of seven and six,        John Cowan
on a canton azure fifty molets of the second.   cowan at
        --blazoning the U.S. flag     

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