[Rd] Copyright versus Licenses

Guillaume Yziquel guillaume.yziquel at citycable.ch
Sat Feb 13 02:01:11 CET 2010

Dominick Samperi a écrit :
> Interesting, but what about the situation where a new author adds his name
> as copyright holder without the
> consent of the original copyright holder, and with only one person making
> the decision whether or not this
> change is warranted: the new copyright holder? Doesn't this amount to giving
> the copyright away, or
> giving it away to everybody?

If someone writes some code in a file, he is entitled to be the 
copyright owner of what he wrote. Kicking him away means not using his 

> GPL is often called copyleft for a reason: it basically cancels most of the
> rights that you would have with
> an ordinary copyright so that others can freely copy your work with no
> requirements other than that your

Nope. You cannot "cancel" your rights. You have them. Full stop.

You just give enough rights to other fellows. And restrictions when it 
comes to distributing GPL stuff. Essentially.

You are not taking your rights away from and giving them to others. That 
doesn't make sense.

> The only "infringement" cases that I am aware of is where a company is sued
> because it tried to turn
> GPL software into a commercial product. This is what GPL was designed to do.

Nope. GPL allows you to make commercial GPL products. So you cannot say 
that it forbids turning GPL work into a commercial product.

And there are cases where ISP have been 'distributing' GPL code in the 
routers, ADSL boxes. They've been sued for not disclosing the source 
code. They haven't been sued for shipping GPL code in these ADSL boxes 
in the scope of a commercial contract. Quite the opposite.

> It is not designed
> to protect authors (because that would be an attack on software freedom and
> apple pie, according to
> true believers).

It is designed to protect people receiving software from vendors who may 
want to conceal the source code of what they're distributing. Among 
other things.

But, for instance, if your code may be hijacked by a big corporation, 
putting it under the GPL is a guarantee that it doesn't make huge sense 
to hijack it. So here you protect the author.

But how is this R related?

All the best,

      Guillaume Yziquel

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