[sword-devel] Copyrights and derivative works

Chris Little sword-devel@crosswire.org
Sat, 18 Jan 2003 00:49:24 -0700 (MST)

On Fri, 17 Jan 2003, Joel Mawhorter wrote:

> So according to U.S. law I can't create a derivative work but is a
> concordence really a derative work? It certainly is very different from
> the Bible text it is based on. In its simplest form it is just a listing
> of references for verses that contain a given word. To me that doesn't
> seem like a derivative work according to the definition at the site
> below. Thoughts anyone?

Derivative is not synonymous with adaptation.  It sounds like you're
thinking of a concordance not being an adaptation (which is true) since
most of the examples given in circular 14 are of adaptations, but it is
still a derivative work.  A concordance derives all of its information
from the original work.  As well, the original work could possibly be
reconstructed from the concordance.  And only the copyright holder of the 
original has the right to allow production of a derivative work.

According to the US Code Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 101: A ''derivative 
work'' is a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a 
translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion 
picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, 
condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, 
transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, 
annotations, elaborations, or other modifications which, as a whole, 
represent an original work of authorship, is a ''derivative work''. 

See http://www.copyright.gov/title17/ for the whole act.