Derivative/collective works and OSL

rich apodaca cheminformatik at
Thu Feb 3 03:36:12 UTC 2005

Can anyone give me examples that illustrate the
boundaries between "derivative works" and "collective
works" as these terms relate to software?

For example, it seems clear that if I take library
source code, add material to one or more source files,
and distribute the result, then I've created a
"derivative work".

But what if I write an application that just links to
the library? For example, what if my work simply uses
Java "import" and "extends" or "implements"
statements? Or what if I use both "import" and
"extends" and I additionally use "new FooClass()"
where "FooClass" is a class defined in the library?

Are the two situations above different? In in each
case, have I created a "derivative work" or
"collective work"?

I am interested in this topic because the Open
Software License (OSL) seems to rely on copyright law
to define the term "derivative work." As far as I can
tell, a "collective" software work would fall outside
the scope of the OSL's reciprocity requirements
(sections 1c and 5).  If so, do the LGPL and OSL
reciprocity requirements actually differ in any
meaningful way?

thanks in advance,

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