Derivative Works Under the GNU General Public License

18 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2015  

Ben Dugan

Independent

Date Written: June 1, 2011

Abstract

This article discusses the treatment of derivative works under the GNU General Public License. It argues that the functioning of the GPL depends upon a definition of derivative work that is significantly broader than that employed by the Copyright Act or the courts. This over-broad definition ultimately leads to nonsensical results in the face of many modern program development and distribution methodologies. This article visits a number of fact-patterns to help illuminate possible weaknesses and inconsistencies in the GPL definition of derivative work.

Keywords: open source license, GPL, derivative works, software copyright

Suggested Citation

Dugan, Ben, Derivative Works Under the GNU General Public License (June 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2622355 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2622355

Ben Dugan (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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