Subject: Re: Can OSI specify that public domain is open source?
From: John Cowan <>
Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2011 19:12:40 -0400

Andy Brooks scripsit:

> I think Rick's correct. From the Dam Things case (
> "An
> author's right to protection of the derivative work only extends
> to the elements that he has added to the work; he cannot receive
> protection for the underlying work."

Sure, that means the author of the derivative work can't sue someone for
reuse of the elements of the underlying work.  But the copyright on the
derivative work as a whole is his property and he can sue under his own
name for infringements.  The _Lord of the Rings_ movies were made by
New Line Cinema under license from Tolkien Enterprises (which holds a
license from Tolkien himself), but if someone were to bootleg the movie,
it would be New Line that would sue.  Likewise, New Line is free (unless
the parties have agreed otherwise) to make its own licensing arrangements for
the movies without reference to Tolkien Enterprises.

So if Aunt Alice wrote a book in 1890 (to put it safely beyond the
reach of U.S. copyright), and Bob translated it today into German, the
copyright would belong to Bob, and whoever he licensed would have a
valid license.

Híggledy-pìggledy / XML programmers            John Cowan
Try to escape those / I-eighteen-N woes;
Incontrovertibly / What we need more of is
Unicode weenies and / François Yergeaus.