Derivative Work Copyright – What is Derivative Work?
Before discussing derivative work copyright, you need to have a clear picture of what a derivative work is. Only then can you decide whether to go for derivative work copyright. The Copyright Act (17 U S C) defines derivative work as:
"A “derivative work" is a work based upon one or more pre-existing 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".
The adjacent image is a derivative work based on a photograph taken by S. Flude in 2007.
Another example of derivative work is Mona Lisa with Moustache, which is based on the original Mona Lisa painting. The artist, Marcel Duchamp, just added a moustache to the original painting and copyrighted the image in France.
Normally, you cannot use any copyrighted material without explicit consent of the copyright owner or without citing reference to the copyright owners of the work in fair use.
In short, a "derivative work" is based on original work forms of other people. The base work form (the original work) may or may not be copyrighted by the person who created it.
Now that we have a clear picture of what "derivative work" is, let us now focus on derivative work copyright.