[Foundation-l] An argument for strong copyleft

Robert Rohde rarohde at gmail.com
Tue Apr 8 01:40:33 UTC 2008

On Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 6:25 PM, Andrew Whitworth <wknight8111 at gmail.com>

> On Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 9:13 PM, Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org> wrote:
> > On Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 9:06 PM, Andrew Whitworth <wknight8111 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >  > On Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 8:49 PM, Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org> wrote:
> >  >  >  Being an "aggregation" under the GFDL does not preclude being a
> >  >  >  "derivative work", so far as I can tell.  Do you disagree with
> this?
> >  >
> >  >  Yes, I do disagree with this.
> >
> >  Which is this?  [[Image:Jimbo_and_friends.png]]  What part of the
> >  definition of the other does it fail?
> I'm not a lawyer, I've read through the GFDL and have formed a general
> understanding of it. If I had to guess about the specific image you
> are referencing, I would probably guess that it could be a derivative
> because the cartoon characters can probably be considered "parody",
> and can therefore be included as fair use. Barring that, I have no
> idea and won't venture to speculate on it any further. Some general
> relationships that are spelled out in the GFDL:
> 1) GFDL document + GFDL modifications = GFDL Document (derivative)
> 2) GFDL document + GFDL document = GFDL Document (collection)
> 3) GFDL document + Non-GFDL document = Non-GFDL document (aggregate).
> I may certainly be wrong on this, I would like to hear from a lawyer
> before I talk about it any further.

Point 3 should read: "GFDL document + 'separate and independent documents or
works, in or on a volume of a storage or distribution medium' " = Non-GFDL
document (aggregate).

Those other two clauses are significant.  Aggregates, as I understand them,
are resticted to combinations of documents that are functionally independent
and connected merely by proximity in a distribution medium, etc.

4) GFDL document augmented by non-GFDL text or images = GFDL document

They way I understand it is basically: If you can remove either work without
materially affecting the reader's understanding of the remaining work then
it can be an aggregate.  If, on the other hand, the understanding and
appreciation of one work depends on the presense of the other, then the
collective work fails the "separate and independent" test must be treated as
a derivative and not as an aggregate.

-Robert Rohde

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