Copyright of derivative work released under a CC licence

Greg London email at
Fri Dec 3 09:31:08 EST 2004

Branko Collin said:
> I (who is NAL) don't think that is important. You tried to reproduce
> the original, not merely to be 'inspired' by it. Just because you did
> not wholly succeed, does not mean it is not a reproduction, and
> therefore a derivation. Your template is not an independent creation.
> Although we can argue whether it is technically a derivation, it
> certainly is morally one. The law intended this to be called
> derivation and an act of restricted copying.

Im not a lawyer, and I never heard of a "moral derivative" until now.

It is perfectly possible to "reproduce the original"
and still be an independent work.

Whether or not a situation qualifies for that status
is HOW the second author did the "reproducing".

If the second author continually referenced the original
and then simply translated it into a new language, then
it probably qualifies as a derivative.

But it is perfectly legitimate for someone to look at
the ins and outs of a program and code from that.
I think you can even look at the API for a module,
the subroutines and their in/outs, and still qualify
as a new and independent work.

The point is that copyright protects the
"artistic creativity" that goes into the software.
Copyright does not protect teh functionality.
So it is possible to create duplicate functionality
if you do it by using your own artistic creativity.

> Your desire may be to spare the original author (Neil Turner?) from
> questions and comments by users, but that was not the authors
> intention, or he would not have used a license that permitted the
> creation of derivative works.
> If I were you, I would say something like:
> "Copyright 2004 Raffaello Tesi, based on original work copyright 2004
> by Neil Turner."
> "Please send any questions or comments about this template to
> Raffaelo Tesi."
> --
> branko collin
> collin at
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