The WordPress world has seen it's fair share of arguments over rights due to derivative work.

What can you do with it? What can't you do with it? Where exactly is the line between derivative and non-derivative?

The holy ways started about GPL, MIT, Apache, and who cares whatever license are endless.

They've also made me think.

You are a Derivative Work

Whoever you are, and wherever you come from, there is someone who came in your place before.

First, you are someone's child. Like it or not, your parents' presence (or absence) has influenced you. Your life, your personality, your character. You are, in however minor a way, a derivative work of your parents.

Second, you live in a world with other people. People you respect; those you despise. Whether you look up to someone, resent them, or merely avoid them on the street, the presence of others has and will make an impression on you.

Argue if you like, but you are a derivative work, influenced heavily by the lives, histories, and personalities of the other people in your life. Your family, your friends, even your enemies. As a derivative work, outside observers are likely to see the fingerprints of these influences when they look at you, your life, and your work.

What does that mean to you? How accurate a reflection are you of your parents' values? Of your friends' political inclinations? Or lessons learned from your enemies' misfortunes?

What right do you have to call your reflection of the above your original creation? If your reactions to stimuli are modeled after those of others, do you have the right to call them your own?

I am a Derivative Work

I am a Christian. That means, first and foremost, I try to model my life after that of Jesus Christ. My reactions, the way I treat people (whether I know them or not), and the way I relate to the world.

I'm not perfect, but I hope my life is an accurate enough reflection to be seen as derivative of his perfect example. That others would recognize his impact on my being immediately is my utmost goal.

If I am to be an accurate representation, it means I question frequently my right to claim certain things as my own. My success at work, for example, is not my own but is hard-won through my faith in Christ. What right do I have to claim credit for accomplishments earned by leaning wholly on him?


My life is a derivative work, and I know both of whom it's derived and why.[ref]I live my life trying to follow Christ's example above all others, but there are other examples after which I model my life, thoughts, and opinions as well.[/ref] You are a derivative work as well; do you know of whom?