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You are here: Home Licensing What counts as a "modification" under the FDL?

What counts as a "modification" under the FDL?

by brett Contributions Published on May 08, 2007 03:09 PM

Recently we've been seeing a lot of questions about the FDL's requirements for different kinds of multimedia work. People will ask what they have to do when they use an FDLed image to illustrate an article, for example, or an FDLed song as part of a movie.

In cases like these where the materials complement each other, we believe that the end result is a derivative work. So, in the examples above, this means that you would need to follow the FDL's terms for creating modifications when you release your article or film. Just because the components can be separated doesn't necessarily mean that they're not derivative. For a long time we've held a similar position about copyright for software: just because a program only optionally makes use of GNU readline, for example, doesn't suddenly excuse the author from the GPL's requirements.

If you have a particular scenario along these lines you'd like to ask about, please feel free to e-mail us. We're always happy to answer those sorts of questions.

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