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derived work vs mere aggregation

derived work vs mere aggregation

Posted Dec 11, 2003 7:22 UTC (Thu) by pjm (subscriber, #2080)
Parent article: Interview: Dan Ravicher on derived works

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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derived work vs mere aggregation

Posted Dec 11, 2003 7:50 UTC (Thu) by pjm (subscriber, #2080) [Link]

I retract the claim "yet I gather it isn't usually considered a derivative work of either". This perception may well be merely due to the "mere aggregation" exception in the GNU GPL.

derived work vs mere aggregation

Posted Dec 11, 2003 17:30 UTC (Thu) by JoeBuck (guest, #2330) [Link]

This brings up a point I haven't seen addressed: Larry Rosen of the OSI wrote a new license, the Open Software License, that claims to be a copyleft license that addresses perceived flaws in the GPL. Like the GPL, it requires derivative works to be licensed under the same terms. Unlike the GPL, it has no "mere aggregation" exception. It would appear that if the Linux kernel were licensed under the GPL, all programs distributed on a CD-ROM along with the Linux kernel would need to be either under the OSL or a compatible but more permissive license, since the CD-ROM is a derivative work of the Linux kernel. That makes the OSL much more "viral" than the GPL.

derived work vs mere aggregation

Posted Dec 12, 2003 10:09 UTC (Fri) by piman (subscriber, #8957) [Link]

At the moment, the OSL is considered nonfree by at least Debian (I don't know if the FSF has an opinion on it). Clause 5 is the sticking point, but clause 9 isn't too popular either.


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