All, Actually, this is highly complex. The article that Joshua sent to the list is informative of the process that courts use to determine the substantiality of the derivative work based on another, whether or not its purposes, potentials in the market and nature of the context, work and/or medium countenance a violation of copyright. For software, this seems to be vague at best, where common knowledge, modularity and engineering philosophy of software (esp. OO components) push the limits of our understanding of what is derivation. Perhaps the burgeoning field of providing information will flood ideas into the public domain to the extent that what is now thought proprietary will later be considered obvious and common knowledge. http://www.producersconference.com/law/cases/ad_issue_cases/ARTWORK/curtis.h tml http://www.kramerlevin.com/press/oberman1095.html <tip type="Fair Use Copyright"> Generally, the doctrine of fair use can be applied if it can be considered news reporting, commentary, teaching, research and scholarship, criticism or transformation. It also must meet well with the following four criteria. 1. Character of Use (educational, non-profit or money-making?) 2. Nature of Original Work (Factual or Creative, Expressive?) 3. Amount of Use (Small Amount or Large Amount?) 4. Effect on Marketability (Doesn't Take from Market or Infringes on Market of Original Work?) The last item is one most heavily scrutinized by courts. If any work is copied in entirety, even for one of the above named purposes, it is infringement, since the author is loosing due recompense through loss of income from the copyrighted work. This means that even if you copy an entire CD or even song for personal or educational uses, it is NOT fair use. This only applies to copyrighted works, where the owner does not yet give permission to reproduce, prepare derivative works, distribute, perform, display, transfer ownership, rent or lend her or his creations. If permission is granted, then the fair use doctrine is superseded and not applicable. This is the case with Open Source and public domain stuff. </tip> yours in service, -rory "All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization. ... Those virtues that befit his dignity are forbearance, mercy, compassion and loving-kindness towards all the peoples and kindreds of the earth." -- Baha'u'llah -----Original Message----- From: bradclark1 [mailto:bradclark1 at msn.com] Sent: Friday, May 18, 2001 12:56 PM To: thelist at lists.evolt.org Subject: Re: [thelist] When does "bought code" become your own ? ----- Original Message ----- From: "Joshua OIson" <joshua at alphashop.net> Subject: Re: [thelist] When does "bought code" become your own ? > Off the top of my head, I think I remember something about a 30% code > difference is enough to differentiate two different > programs. I read the same thing somewhere also. To me you are saying you used it as a base and went from there. A ton of high quality software out there says the same thing. What you can do is add a comment in the script somewhere and say its based on this other program. That way you are being upright about it. If you changed it approximately fifty percent I'd say you don't have anything to worry about. My two cents. Brad --------------------------------------- For unsubscribe and other options, including the Tip Harvester and archive of TheList go to: http://lists.evolt.org Workers of the Web, evolt !