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Re: GPL 2(b) HUH?

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: GPL 2(b) HUH?
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2008 09:10:48 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20080708)

Ciaran O'Riordan wrote:
But if you looked at Linux, decided the scheduler was crap, and then wrote a
completely new scheduler for Linux, then that would be a derivative work

No, it would not. By statute, in the U.S., a derivative work is a
transformation of another work which retains its original purpose -
turning a short story into a movie script, or translating into a
different language. See the Harry Potter case, where the judge said
that turning narratives into a reference text, even with massive
copying from the original sources, does not make the reference text
a derivative work of the novels, because the reference does not serve
the same purpose as the novels even though it is a transformation of

Programs written to interoperate with other programs are not derivative
works of those programs. And a good thing, too.

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