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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: Third Party FOSS licenses
Date Sat, 01 Aug 2015 18:20:56 GMT
Henri Yandell asked:

> The majority of contributions are based on the pre-existing work.

> So how can "As long as those works are indeed separate and

> independently created by identified (or anonymous) authors"

> be correct?

 

The phrase "based upon" is part of the definition of "derivative work" (17 U.S.C. 101 <http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#101>
). You may be right that the majority of contributions to Apache projects are themselves derivative
works of even earlier original works. That wouldn't surprise me since that is the preeminent
objective of FOSS software. 

 

This may be what Sam referred to as "marbled beef" or "pee in the pond". We (independent Apache
projects) collect that stuff and publish it. 

 

It doesn't matter how much creativity it takes to combine separate and independent works and
create derivative or collective works of software. But it does take an identified (or anonymous)
human being (or a legal entity like ASF) as its author in order to create a separate and independent
work.

 

/Larry

 

 

From: Henri Yandell [mailto:bayard@apache.org] 
Sent: Saturday, August 1, 2015 10:57 AM
To: ASF Legal Discuss <legal-discuss@apache.org>; Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
Subject: Re: Third Party FOSS licenses

 

 

 

On Sat, Aug 1, 2015 at 10:44 AM, Lawrence Rosen <lrosen@rosenlaw.com <mailto:lrosen@rosenlaw.com>
> wrote:

 

Henri Yandell asked:

> How do the FOSS contributions constitute "separate and independent works in themselves"?

 

As far as ASF is concerned, anything that bears a copyright notice and is expressly contributed
to an Apache project by someone known to the Apache project is a "separate and independent
work." 

 

This is a kind of recursive term of art. An original work is a separate and independent work.
A derivative work of that original work becomes a separate and independent work. A collective
work or compilation including that original work or derivative work becomes a separate and
independent work. As long as those works are indeed separate and independently created by
identified (or anonymous) authors, and if necessary its original sources identified on the
U.S. Copyright Office application under oath, the contributor can assert a separate and independent
copyright.

 

The majority of contributions are based on the pre-existing work. So how can "As long as those
works are indeed separate and independently created by identified (or anonymous) authors"
be correct?

I guess I'm asking for the meaning of 'separate' and 'independent', which I don't see defined.


 

Hen


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