[License-discuss] relationship between opensource code and the copyrighted works it produces?

Bruce Perens bruce at perens.com
Wed Sep 5 15:56:21 UTC 2012

On 09/05/2012 08:19 AM, Karl Fogel wrote:
> My understanding (I am not a lawyer) is that copyright only applies to 
> creative works -- specifically, to works resulting from human 
> creativity, or to the portion of a work that results from human 
> creativity. This is why, for example, the information in a phone book 
> cannot be copyrighted, but a song reciting those numbers could be.
Or indeed, a work containing a creative form of organizing or presenting 
the phone numbers could be copyrighted, while the data could be 
/extracted from it/ and would not be covered by copyright.

There is one thing to watch out for: do your tools embed the copyrighted 
work of others in your work? It used to be that Inkscape /did, /and the 
same has been true for other tools.//In the case of Inkscape, it placed 
a raster texture called "Sand" in SVG works, and that texture was under 
Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 . Wikipedians were uploading SVG images 
to Wikipedia and dedicating them to the public domain, but they had this 
embedded texture that was /not /public domain.

I think that Inkscape has since been cleaned up. You can see the 
Wikimedia Commons discussion at



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