[License-discuss] Derivative Works of a standard
lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Sun Jul 8 20:05:27 UTC 2012
John Cowan wrote:
> These would clearly cover adaptation of the text of the
> standard into other standards, but an implementation
> of the standard doesn't look like recasting, transforming,
> or adapting.
Many modern software standards, including the W3C HTML5 recommendation, are almost indistinguishable from code. Indeed, often such standards include partial reference implementations as software implementation guidance. As I understand it, so do at least some of the HL7 specifications about which Grahame Grieve originally inquired.
That is why the OWFa/CLA agreements include an open source compatible copyright license -- just in case there is some copyrighted content in the specification that needs to be recast, transformed, or adapted. No reason to wait until some court analyzes John Cowan's contention in your jurisdiction; everyone should feel free to copy, create derivative works of, or distribute the specification because of the OWF license agreements.
Rosenlaw & Einschlag, a technology law firm (www.rosenlaw.com)
3001 King Ranch Rd., Ukiah, CA 95482
From: John Cowan [mailto:cowan at mercury.ccil.org]
Sent: Sunday, July 08, 2012 10:22 AM
To: license-discuss at opensource.org
Subject: Re: [License-discuss] Derivative Works of a standard
Grahame Grieve scripsit:
> Is it only a derivative work if it quotes at length from the source?
> more than fair use? where do the html tutorials stand, then, that
> "derive" from the html specification in violation of the w3c license?
Note that the answer is not only law-specific (it depends on the controlling legal jurisdiction) but also fact-specific. The U.S. legal definition of "derivative work" is:
A “derivative work” is a work based upon one or more pre-existing
works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization,
fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art
reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which
a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of
editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications
which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a
These would clearly cover adaptation of the text of the standard into other standards, but an implementation of the standard doesn't look like recasting, transforming, or adapting.
John Cowan <cowan at ccil.org> http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
"Make a case, man; you're full of naked assertions, just like Nietzsche."
"Oh, i suffer from that, too. But you know, naked assertions or GTFO."
--heard on #scheme, sorta _______________________________________________
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