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Re: copyright issues and derivative work (the case of matlab-mode)

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: copyright issues and derivative work (the case of matlab-mode)
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2021 23:31:43 -0500

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  > >     3. Patches, that contain more than 15 lines, which according to
  > >        
  > >        is legally relevant. However the current HEAD (tip) state of the
  > >        repository contains less than 15 lines or even no line at all.
  > >        Now there are two possibilities.
  > > 
  > >        a. The orginal patch is no longer relevant, and therefore no 
action is needed.
  > >           That is what common sense would tell me.
  > > 
  > >        b. Although the code is not present now, it was present in some
  > >           commit in the past, therefore the rest of the commits is
  > >           derivative work.

It isn't quite that simple and rigid.  The question that needs to be
answered is: is a substantial part of the current code more or less a
rewriting of the original patch?  If so, then that part is a
derivative of the original patch.

The FSF can can ask a lawyer about the specific case, if that's

Dr Richard Stallman (https://stallman.org)
Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project (https://gnu.org)
Founder, Free Software Foundation (https://fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)

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