The linked-to paper is very helpful for knowing how much must be rewritten to avoid copyright claims, but it doesn't help distinguishing a derivative work from "mere aggregation". A Linux/Gnu system including the Linux kernel and acroread (and bash etc.) would seem to be considered a derivative work of each of its constituent parts according to the paper, yet I gather it isn't usually considered a derivative work of either. (Similarly, the combination of the Linux kernel with a windows driver would be considered a derived work; of each; though that's not to say that the constituent parts are derived works of each other.) The Gnu GPL's explicit exclusion of "mere aggregation" may be relevant; perhaps what is at issue is not merely what is a derived work, but what is "mere aggregation"?
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