[License-discuss] Words that don't mean derivative work
lrosen at rosenlaw.com
Wed Feb 3 17:19:08 UTC 2016
Hi Diane, thanks very much for copying the words of the CC licenses. I agree with those words in your license except for the word "arranged." They DO mean "derivative work." In fact, those are almost the same words that I used in my own licenses to mean that difficult copyright term. As long as the following statement is in your definition, I'm happy:
and in which the Licensed Material is translated, altered, arranged, transformed, or otherwise modified in a manner requiring permission under the Copyright and Similar Rights held by the Licensor.
(My emphasis by underlining and deletion of the word "arranged".) I also believe the phrase I recommended earlier says almost the same thing in its intent: "software that is modified or expressly changed in its executable or source code form." It includes everything (except "arranged") that your license describes. But if you prefer your wording, great!
On the other hand, I repeat yet again because it is critical to understanding copyleft and copyright law, the words we frequently use on this list to mean derivative work – don't. They confuse. They lead to fear of litigation. They lead to fear of the GPL.
No other copyleft licenses but the GPL pursue those confusing definitions. MPL is fine. ECL is fine. GPL + the Classpath Exception is fine. My own licenses are clearly defined.
I've said this on this list more than enough times. It is now appropriate for others to defend their interpretations under copyright law, or change their license interpretations. Or probably they'll continue to do nothing about the confusion they cause.
From: Diane Peters [mailto:diane at creativecommons.org]
Sent: Wednesday, February 3, 2016 5:49 AM
To: license-discuss at opensource.org
Subject: Re: [License-discuss] Words that don't mean derivative work
To the extent helpful, we at CC put a lot of thought into how to best define the notion of what constitutes a derivative work ("Adapted Material" in CC 4.0 vernacular) when we last versioned. We expressly tied it to copyright law. If a downstream licensee uses the work in a manner that implicates the licensor's exclusive right under copyright to create derivative works, then the ShareAlike condition is triggered. Not otherwise.
Adapted Material means material subject to Copyright and Similar Rights that is derived from or based upon the Licensed Material and in which the Licensed Material is translated, altered, arranged, transformed, or otherwise modified in a manner requiring permission under the Copyright and Similar Rights held by the Licensor [omitting additional clause re synching]
Diane M. Peters
General Counsel, Creative Commons
On Sat, Jan 30, 2016 at 4:03 PM, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen at rosenlaw.com <mailto:lrosen at rosenlaw.com> > wrote:
Simon Phipps the other day used the word "integration" to mean "derivative work." Recently on this and other open source email lists we've seen "combinations," "inclusion," "kernel space," "shim," "interface" and "API", "header file", and "linking".
None of those is ipso facto a derivative work under U.S. copyright law. This is unfortunate for those of us who want to obey licenses. Wouldn't it be nice if the following sentence – by mutual agreement – was added to ALL of our FOSS licenses:
Licensor hereby additionally asserts that the copyleft, reciprocity, or derivative work obligations in this license only apply to software that is modified or expressly changed in its executable or source code form.
This is just a wish that the FOSS community could, in our vernacular, cooperate that consistently with the copyright law.
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