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Re: Do I have to release the patch for a GPL software under GPL?

From: Merijn de Weerd
Subject: Re: Do I have to release the patch for a GPL software under GPL?
Date: Sat, 13 May 2006 23:07:06 +0200
User-agent: slrn/ (FreeBSD)

On 2006-05-13, Alexander Terekhov <> wrote:
> Merijn de Weerd wrote:
> [...]
>> What the GPL says in section 2 is that if you combine your own
>> work with the GPL work, the GPL applies to the whole. That's
>> logical: such a combination is a derivative work. This paragraph
>> of text is my original work. The combination of my paragraphs
>> with the parts of your message that I cited above is a derivative
>> work of your message. 
> Not at all. It's a compilation.

No, it is not. I take parts of someone's message and add
my own message. That is a derivative work. Google Groups
is a compilation.

By selectively quoting parts of another message, I am
creating a derivative. That follows from the literal
wording of 17 USC 101:

  A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations,
  elaborations, or other modifications, which, as a whole, 
  represent an original work of authorship, is a 'derivative work.'

My reply is an original work of authorship. I provided
annotations and other modifications to the message I replied
to. Therefore my reply is and only can be a derivative work.

> Please bare in your mind that <quote> In fact, the GPL itself rejects 
> any automatic aggregation of software copyrights under the GPL simply 
> because one program licensed under the GPL is distributed together with 

Am I distributing my message together with another? 

No, I am modifying your message, by retaining parts and rejecting
others. I add "> " to lines of your text and add my own annotations,
criticisms, responses and other creative expressions. So your quote
on the mere aggregation is beside the point. This message is a
derivative of yours. You are now going to make a derivative once
more, no doubt extensively incorporating fair use quotations into
the mix.

And what's more, a compilation consists of a collection of
preexisting works _without creative additions by the collector_. The
creativity required for copyright protection of the compilation lies
in the selection, coordination or arranging of the preexisting works.
"The ten best postings of Alexander Therekhov" is a compilation,
because the criterion "the best" represents creativity on my part.


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