Procedure for using an approved license

Casey Mitchell badubadu2002 at
Mon Oct 21 03:33:58 UTC 2002

We're not connecting here.  My point is that
"derivative work" as used in the copyright statute is
an unclear term.  And that the definition of
derivative work varies among jurisdictions.  And that
the MPL does not, as Larry suggests, use a "derivative
work" standard for precisely that reason.  

I have limited connectivey for the next few days, so
may drop in and out of this discussion.

--- "Lawrence E. Rosen" <lrosen at> wrote:
> > From: Rod Dixon [mailto:rod at] 
> > there is a lot being said here. To clarify one
> point at a 
> > time, the use of "derivative work" should be in
> the copyright 
> > law sense, not an unusual meaning gleamed from a 
> > license...whether it is the MPL or any other
> license. In this 
> > respect, the issue is relatively simple; namely,
> did the 
> > copyright holder grant the right to create the
> work and did 
> > he or she grant the right to distribute the work.
> Thanks, Rod, for your clarification.  We attorneys
> have a responsibility
> to our community to be precise in our definitions,
> at least with
> reference to terms of art such as "derivative work."
> Mitchell is correct in suggesting that some
> licensors may want the
> reciprocity obligation (to publish source code) to
> apply to more than --
> or to less than -- derivative works.  The GPL
> authors, for example, seem
> to want to include works that link together in some
> ways; they are
> entitled to do so as long as they define their terms
> clearly and so long
> as their definitions are consistent with the
> copyright law that governs
> their license.  The MPL, by contrast, wants to limit
> the reciprocity
> obligation on a file-by-file basis, also a
> legitimate objective for a
> license as long as the term "file" is clearly
> defined.  
> In drafting the OSL, I tried to steer clear of
> terminology that was
> technology-specific and to use terms of art from
> copyright law wherever
> possible.  I did not want to clutter the concept of
> derivative works
> with terms such as "larger work" or "work based on
> the work" or "file."
> When I wanted a specific software concept, however,
> such as "Source
> Code" or "External Deployment," to inform the
> application of the
> copyright law to this license, I tried to define it
> clearly.  
> Perhaps Mitchell, in the next version of the MPL,
> will be able to define
> more clearly what she intends to encompass by the
> "derivative work"
> reciprocity provision in that license.  That will
> help projects to
> decide which license to adopt for their software. 
> Perhaps, too, we
> should work together to define that term precisely
> for our needs and use
> an agreed definition in both the OSL and the MPL?  
> As for the current version of the OSL, I thought it
> best to let the
> courts clear up the concept of derivative works in
> the edge cases, since
> they will anyway if someone litigates this in an
> important case.  I have
> written an article explaining my own views of how
> that will turn out; it
> will appear in my Linux Journal column in a few
> months.  
> /Larry
> --
> license-discuss archive is at


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