WordPress, themes, and derivative works
Posted Jul 29, 2010 23:13 UTC (Thu) by giraffedata
In reply to: WordPress, themes, and derivative works
Parent article: WordPress, themes, and derivative works
The explanation of why it's a derivative work seemed ridiculous to me, too -- traditional (e.g. books, films) copyright arguments don't talk about include() statements and memory, and I don't think there is a large body of tested law specifically about software plugins and such. But I have to pay some deference to SFLC simply because they should know (better than me, anyway) and have a reputation better than plain crackpots. So I wonder what's going on there.
Do you know if the derivative work definition has ever been tested in court with software that simply links (after distribution) with other software? Or code that calls other code? Or is it all pure speculation at this point?
With regard to the idea that software that links is a derivative work, I like to go back to first principles: the reason for copyright is to prevent someone from using an author's own work to compete against the author, which would make writing unprofitable, so there would be no writing. But plugins don't compete with the base code. If anything, they cause the base code author to get paid more.
So I don't see any reason the law would give Wordpress authors control over themes.
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