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Re: GPL 2(b) HUH?

From: Barry Margolin
Subject: Re: GPL 2(b) HUH?
Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2008 19:07:14 -0400
User-agent: MT-NewsWatcher/3.5.3b3 (Intel Mac OS X)

In article <vl7Ak.413$>,
 Hyman Rosen <> wrote:

> 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 -

A new version of Linux with a different scheduler serves the same 
purpose: they're both operating system kernels.

> 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
> them.

I think the real-world analogy to the scenario Ciaran described would be 
if you took the Harry Potter text, removed a chapter, and replaced it 
with a new chapter that you wrote.  What would the status of the 
resulting book be?  Is it a derivative of the original Harry Potter, or 
a compilation of the originnal chapters (minus 1) and the new chapter?

Barry Margolin,
Arlington, MA
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