Subject: Re: Open Source and Government agencies
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 28 Feb 2000 19:28:12 -0500

   Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000 16:20:30 -0500 (EST)
   From: Lynn Winebarger <>

       This is not necessarily true.  It's only true when the patch is not a
   derivative work.  When is that you ask?  I don't know, as far as I know we
   haven't seen any court cases about it yet, and until we do it's difficult
   to say whether such a patch qualifies as a derivative work.  
       The main thing is, it won't be decided by the fsb list (or software
   writers in general), and acting like it is decided is a mistake.

Although it is true that the courts will determine the exact
definitino of a derivative work, at least in the U.S. they are likely
to seriously consider what is generally believed in the field.  So
while it certainly isn't decided, what software writers in general
think is not irrelevant.

However, this does not apply if congress writes a law to determine
what a derivative work of software is.  That would preempt the court.