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I have access to a learning material(docs/solutions) which is licensed under XYZ Training - ABC Product Copyright (C) 2019 - 2021 XYZ. All rights reserved. The software in this package is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License. This material talks and provides steps on how to write/build efficient software coding by using a ShipYard company usecase.

I have come up with a new learning material that covers around 80% (steps) of the above material using a different but similar (Manufacturing company) usecase. My material (docs/solutions) is created from scratch has different content and have not copied any diagrams/pictures/flows.

The name and order of topics of the new learning material are also different compared to the original.

Can I publish my material and commercial it?

If required I can give appropriate credits to the original material at the beginning of my material.

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  • Did you read the XYZ material before writing your own version?
    – MadHatter
    Mar 25 at 8:23
  • Yes, I have read it.
    – John674125
    Mar 25 at 9:23
  • It seems to say that the Software is under CC-BY-NC-ND, but is that all? You write about Docs, and the way I read the license language you quoted it says "All rights reserved". So apparently you are dealing with 2 separate situations. Mar 25 at 10:07

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Given that you've written this new work yourself, invented new scenarios, created all the diagrams, etc., the question is whether it is in any way a derivative work of the XYZ material. If it is, you've got a problem, because the licence on the XYZ material doesn't allow the creation of derivative works (ND), so creating one infringes XYZ's copyright.

The perfect defence against such an allegation is that you haven't read the material involved. That is why many professional authors and others in the content creation business have publicly-stated policies against reading unsolicited material; it's not logically possible to have been influenced in your creation by a work you've never seen. Unfortunately, that defence is (by your own admission) not open to you. That doesn't mean that your work is necessarily derivative, but it puts you on the back foot in defending yourself against such an allegation, were it to arise. At this point, the only real advice we can give is to get your material professionally evaluated.

If required I can give appropriate credits to the original material at the beginning of my material.

Had the XYZ material been under (eg) a CC BY licence, that would not just have been courteous, but a requirement. Since it's not, all you're doing by including such a credit is pasting a target on your own back. Worse, were a lawsuit to arise, your inclusion of this credit could be seen as an admission that your work owed its existence to the original XYZ work, and thus an admission of liability (depending on the precise language you used).

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  • Very much indeed. The last paragraph is especially important here. Mar 25 at 10:21
  • Thank you for the details. Even I am worried about the derivative part, lets assume a simple example, ||| XYZ material mentioned there are 2 Ships in the ShipYard, Ship1 has 5 containers and Ship 2 has 10 containers, so Ship1 + Ship2 = 15 containers. ||| In my doc, there are 3 trucks in the Manufacturing unit, Truck 1 carries 1 product, Truck 2 carries 10 and Truck 3 carries 10 products, so Truck1 + Truck3 + Truck2 = 21 products. ||| Does this make sense or is it too simple to understand the Derivative part?
    – John674125
    Mar 25 at 11:45
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    @John674125 we can't pass comment on a specific case without access to the whole of both texts, and even then, we're only internet randoms. If you want to be confidently safe, get professional advice (and show the whole of both texts to your advisor).
    – MadHatter
    Mar 25 at 12:08
  • @MadHatter thanks for the suggestions. One last thing, could you help me with a couple of examples of what is considered NOT A DERIIVATE for original work? I am a bit confused with the example on the internet.
    – John674125
    Mar 25 at 16:52
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    @John674125 no, because there are no bright-line tests in the statutes. Life would be much easier if there was a rule that said "if you share more than 50.9% of your letters with the source work, it's a derivative, otherwise it's not", but there isn't; it's all a matter of case law, and what you can sell a judge on in open court, all of which are jurisdictionally-dependent. You need professional advice.
    – MadHatter
    Mar 25 at 17:32

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