derivative work

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

derivative work (plural derivative works)

  1. (law) In copyright law, a work that is a variation of an original work sufficiently similar to contain protected elements of the original work, but sufficiently different to qualify for copyright protection independent of the original work.

Usage notes[edit]

Under United States copyright law, 17 U.S.C. § 101, a derivative work is defined to include "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" as well as a "work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship".