There's a certain logic to your view Mr Rizzo. Being " labelled" derivative certainly appears to imply a negative loading, but because being derivative is very difficult to avoid then it probably isn't itself necessarily negative. It's partly in how it's used I suspect (subjectively) , and in the other (objectively if such is possible) depends on the extent to which a writer actually is derivative. Old wine in new bottles, and new wine in old bottles will always be derivative to some degree, though labelled as such only according to the intent or prejudice of the accuser. New wine in new bottles.. now, there's a non derivative state to aspire to..