GNU General Public License and the Distribution of Derivative Works


ion-filtration-comparison method has been developed in the United States case Computer Associates International v. Altai. Ravicher has found evidence that this method is nowadays the dominant way of interpreting derivative works of computer programs in the United States district courts. The method has been also applied in Europe. The idea is in short that the similarity between two source codes must be proved by first abstracting the structure and functions in the suspected source codes, then filtrating inessential parts (non-copyrighted, public domain etc.) out and finally comparing the result. Comparison is not based on the idea-expression dichotomy but on a more detailed contextual analysis of source code structure, variable names etc. The case relied heavily on the expert witness of a computer science professor whose view was that a computer program consists of both text and behavior. According to this view, the source and object code are copyrightable text while the actual operation of the program is more like behavior. Therefore for example interfaces and other behavioral functionality could not be regarded as text nor are they copyrightable. 3.3 Component Based Interpretation The second approach can be called as the component based interpretation. In practice, a component-based view of computer programs may be more usable in

Extracted Key Phrases

1 Figure or Table


Citations per Year

71 Citations

Semantic Scholar estimates that this publication has 71 citations based on the available data.

See our FAQ for additional information.

Cite this paper

@article{Vlimki2005GNUGP, title={GNU General Public License and the Distribution of Derivative Works}, author={Mikko V{\"a}lim{\"a}ki}, journal={Journal of Information, Law and Technology}, year={2005}, volume={2005} }