Re: Licensing and copyright
- From: Rob Adams <readams readams net>
- To: foundation-list gnome org
- Subject: Re: Licensing and copyright
- Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2004 09:44:39 -0800
Actually American copyright law is probably the strongest in the world
in terms of protecting rights of copyright holders. If you're a
copyright holder, the US is really the place to be. The GPL depends on
a strong notion of copyright to be enforceable; without copyright,
copyleft is not possible. Most of the criticism of US copyright law you
might see on Slashdot and other places is that it's _too_ strong.
Learning everything you know about copyright and trademark law from
Slashdot won't give you a very good picture of what the law really is.
But as I've said about fifty times now, I am not proposing that anyone
be required to assign their copyright to anyone else, in the US, France,
or anywhere else. The only thing I'm proposing is that a document be
created that explains how licensing works in Gnome, so developers know
where they stand. As this discussion clearly demonstrates, there is a
great deal of misunderstanding of the GPL even amongst those who
vehemently defend it and release works under it.
On Fri, 2004-02-20 at 18:30 +0100, Jean-Michel POURE wrote:
> > But there are good reasons to assign copyright to the FSF, a US-based
> > non-profit organization. Basically, if enforcement of the GPL by legal
> > means ever become necessary, and there are a large number of loosely
> > affiliated or unaffiliated copyright holders, it may require the
> > cooperation of every copyright holder of disputed code in order to
> > successfully bring about an action. The cooperation, as you mention, of
> > potentially hundreds pf contributors, with differing meaning of
> > copyright, in a number of countries. So there are very good reasons to
> > do this copyright transfer, especially if you aren't interested in
> > legally defending your copyright as vigorously as the FSF would.
> Thanks, but most of us do not need the "protection" of the American laws.
> Gathering Gnome free software under ONE SINGLE legal body, under the umbrella
> of the AMERICAN laws, is SUICIDE. I hope that it can never happen to Gnome.
> The constitutional rights in our respective countries suffice. Furthermore, in
> most countries outside the U.S., there is no danger for free software.
> Please note that I am not a Gnome Developer and that I only speak for myself.
> Cheers, Jean-Michel
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