[License-discuss] License incompatibility (was Re: Open source license chooser choosealicense.com

John Cowan cowan at mercury.ccil.org
Sat Sep 14 18:51:14 UTC 2013

Lawrence Rosen scripsit:

> > In any case, I am speaking here of literal copying only.
> In that case, what's the problem you're hypothesizing? Every FOSS
> license permits literal copying, and no FOSS license imposes a
> copyleft obligation on any *other* work just because of making literal
> copies of the FOSS work.

Literal copying and adding material is still literal copying, as
distinct from the kind of indirect copying for which the AFC test is

> Modified source code solely to accomplish interworking?

No, not at all.

> I contend that the differences of the methods of interworking are
> largely irrelevant to the analysis.

I agree, but again you are bringing up red herrings.  I am not speaking
of interworking at all, but of functional enhancement using expressive

> Modified source code to change the program and its expression? That
> sounds like a derivative work.

The question is, when does mere addition of new and itself copyrightable
material (not de minimis, no form/content merger) without deletion or
replacement count as making a derivative work?  To take your stapled
vs. unstapled booklet hypo: if Charlie stapled the pages of two stories
(written separately by Alice and Bob) alternately (and supposing that
no sentences or paragraphs in either story ran over a page boundary),
would that make Charlie's booklet a derivative work of Alice's story
and Bob's story, or still merely a collective work?  Every sentence is
still traceable to either Bob or Alice.

One Word to write them all,             John Cowan <cowan at ccil.org>
  One Access to find them,              http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
One Excel to count them all,
  And thus to Windows bind them.                --Mike Champion

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