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Re: "GPL requirement could have a chilling effect on derivativedistros"

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: "GPL requirement could have a chilling effect on derivativedistros"
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 12:13:14 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Stefaan A Eeckels <> writes:

> On Fri, 30 Jun 2006 09:07:59 +0200
> David Kastrup <> wrote:
>> Tim Smith <> writes:
>> >  Basically, it
>> > says that if you have a legal copy of a copyrighted work, you do
>> > *NOT* need the permission of the copyright owner to distribute it.
>> >
>> > This is why you can sell a book to a used bookstore, without having
>> > to contact the author and get permission.
>> The question is whether I can cut the book into two parts and sell it
>> to different people, or in different sales.
> Probably. I daresay this has never been tested in court :).
>> Breaking a car down for parts is fine, but a car is not a literary
>> work.
> And as such it is not interesting to split a book into chapters for
> separate resale. One could imagine doing so with a book that's a
> compilation of articles, for example. I'm quite sure that the
> copyright holders would not be interested in stopping this if they
> could. After all, the book has been sold and consideration has been
> received.

No problem there, anyway, since parts of compilations are covered by
independent copyrights.  Only the separate compilation copyright could
be involved, but then only if sufficient amounts of creativity were
involved with creating the compilation.

Here is one imaginary case: suppose that somebody issues his "complete
works" which include prose from a time when he had been antisemitist
or whatever else unpleasant.  This stuff has an introduction
explaining his later reconsideration, and the reason for including the
historic documents as well, and it has a lot of insightful stuff
following it.

In fact, it is so insightful that nobody wants to read it.  A
right-wing organization buys large amounts of those books for close to
nothing, cuts off the back half and introduction, binds the remains
into new covers and sells and generally distributes them.

In such a case, at least in Germany according to my understanding of
the German authorship laws, the author would have a right to stop
distribution of this material in spite of copyright exhaustion, as it
infringes upon his artistic integrity.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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