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Re: svn commit: rev 4233...

From: Daniel Berlin <dberlin_at_dberlin.org>
Date: 2003-01-03 17:43:37 CET

> The reason you see ranges is because each change arguably makes it a
> new work, and thus, needs a new "first publication" date.
By it, i mean "the file as a whole", remember.
If someone has an older version of the file, and the copyright on
*that* expires, they could still swipe code from it (arguably, of
course, i'm sure people would sue over this anyway).
Derivative works only give you copyright on the new original pieces,
and the new work as a whole, but not pre-existing pieces. So if it came
down to fighting about it in court, you'd possibly start arguing about
original publication of pieces of code, or infringement of the work as
a whole, not when you moved things from one file to another. Trying to
analyze when various pieces of code (which may or may not be
copyrightable depending on length) got added to a file is a losing
proposition, as one can imagine.

In less verbose terms, if i republish the complete works of Shakespeare
(which is in the public domain) with 6000 words added, my copyright
can't prevent someone else from republishing the complete works of
Shakespeare (with or without a different 6000 words added). It would
still protect me against someone trying to copy my whole work, or those
6000 words, however.

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Received on Fri Jan 3 17:44:32 2003

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