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Copyright & Copyleft

 
 
impossible
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      08-02-2009

"Peter" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:h54pek$idv$(E-Mail Removed)-september.org...

>> "impossible" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> news:wzhdm.213338$DP1.43469@attbi_s22...
>> >
>> > "Peter" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> > news:h535vd$3k9$(E-Mail Removed)-september.org...
>> > "impossible" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> > news:B3Bcm.210425$DP1.131812@attbi_s22...
>> >>>
>> >>> "impossible" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> >>> news:d5rcm.209742$DP1.171379@attbi_s22...
>> >>>>>> "peterwn" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> >>>>>>> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>> >>>>>>> On Jul 30, 10:06 am, Allistar <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>> >>>>>>>>> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
>> >>>>>>>>> > In message <(E-Mail Removed)>,
>> >>>>>>>>> > Allistar
>> >>>>>>>>> > wrote:
>> >>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>> >> That would be quite cumbersome having a product where some
>> >>>>>>>>> >> of it
>> >>>>>>>>> >> (i.e.
>> >>>>>>>>> >> some lines of code) still have copyright but other bits of
>> >>>>>>>>> >> it do
>> >>>>>>>>> >> not.
>> >>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>> > No it wouldn't. You'd just put the whole thing under the GPL
>> >>>>>>>>> > or
>> >>>>>>>>> > whatever
>> >>>>>>>>> > other licence you want. That's what "public domain"
>> >>>>>>>>> > means--you
>> >>>>>>>>> > can
>> >>>>>>>>> > do
>> >>>>>>>>> > that.
>> >>>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>> The GPL is only enforcable as long as copyright still exists on
>> >>>>>>>>> the
>> >>>>>>>>> code.
>> >>>>>>>>> Once copyright runs out, then the GPL can be ignored and people
>> >>>>>>>>> can
>> >>>>>>>>> do
>> >>>>>>>>> what
>> >>>>>>>>> they please. Or am I wrong in that?
>> >>>>>>>>> --
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> Whoops! You deleted your daft comments claiming that copyright
>> >>>>> proytection was irrelevant to the GPL. Let's restore them to put
>> >>>>> this
>> >>>>> discussion in context.
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>> Patents lasts for 14 years or so. Copyright lasts for 50+ years
>> >>>>>>>> after
>> >>>>>>>> creator's death (depending on country) and assignment of the
>> >>>>>>>> copyright
>> >>>>>>>> would not affect this duration.
>> >>>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>>> It is not a matter of 'ignoring' the GPL. When copyright runs
>> >>>>>>>> out,
>> >>>>>>>> you can ignore the copyright.
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> See? That was really dumb of you to say, right? Allow me to correct
>> >>>>> you.
>> >>>>>>
>> >>>>>>> According to the GPL itsef (Copyright 2007 Free Software
>> >>>>>>> Foundation,
>> >>>>>>> Inc.),
>> >>>>>>> :
>> >>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>> "All rights granted under this License are granted for the term
>> >>>>>>> of
>> >>>>>>> copyright
>> >>>>>>> on the Program...."
>> >>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>> http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl.html
>> >>>>>>>
>> >>>>>>> That makes sense, because without copyright the there is no one
>> >>>>>>> who
>> >>>>>>> is
>> >>>>>>> recognized under law as having an exclusive right to set the
>> >>>>>>> terms of
>> >>>>>>> use
>> >>>>>>> for a given work. So when the term of the copyright expires, so
>> >>>>>>> do
>> >>>>>>> the
>> >>>>>>> rights granted under GPL. Modifications to the work would no
>> >>>>>>> longer
>> >>>>>>> require
>> >>>>>>> "copyright permission", and so the GPL would indeed become
>> >>>>>>> irrelevant.
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>>> That is right. Once copyright has expired, anyone can make use of
>> >>>>>> the
>> >>>>>> work as they see fit, they do not need to rely on the GPL.
>> >>>>>>
>> >>>>>>
>> >>>>> >>
>> >>>>>>> Of course, you're the law student. Maybe you've discovered some
>> >>>>>>> ancient
>> >>>>>>> clause in the Dead Sea Scrolls that locks in a claim to copyright
>> >>>>>>> protection
>> >>>>>>> in perpetuity so long as the Force is on the right (or is it
>> >>>>>>> left?)side. But
>> >>>>>>> it looks to me like dropping the copyright term from 50 years to
>> >>>>>>> 5
>> >>>>>>> would
>> >>>>>>> pretty much gut the open-source community.
>> >>>>>>
>> >>>>>> This is another point that is missed. There is not a single GPL
>> >>>>>> but
>> >>>>>> thousands if not millions of instances of the GPL just like there
>> >>>>>> are
>> >>>>>> thousands of instances of the standard agreement form that real
>> >>>>>> estate
>> >>>>>> agents use for house sales. Critics of the GPL seem to think
>> >>>>>> there is
>> >>>>>> only one licence in existence.
>> >>>>>>
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> Got one that isn't based on copyright protection? No, didn't think
>> >>>>> so.
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>>> When the GPL requrires someone to grant licence in the form of the
>> >>>>>> GPL
>> >>>>>> and to publish the source code, the 50 years or so starts from
>> >>>>>> then,
>> >>>>>> not when the original code was created.
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> Let's be clear: If copyright on the original work has expired, no
>> >>>>> one
>> >>>>> has
>> >>>>> an exclusive right to require anyone to do anything with regard to
>> >>>>> that
>> >>>>> work. It's in the public domain -- as free as any software can
>> >>>>> possibly
>> >>>>> be. Neither the GPL nor any other license would any longer have the
>> >>>>> force
>> >>>>> of law. Should someone then come along and create a **significant
>> >>>>> change** to the public domain version that has the effect of
>> >>>>> creating a
>> >>>>> **substantially new work**, then obviously a new term of copyright
>> >>>>> begins.
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>>> The 50 years would also restart for Microsoft's updates on
>> >>>>>> Windows,
>> >>>>>> etc.
>> >>>>>>
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> No. Minor revisions to an existing work by the copyright holder do
>> >>>>> not
>> >>>>> perpetually extend copyright protection.
>> >>
>> >
>> >> The restarted copyright period applies to the update or bugfix, not to
>> >> the
>> >> whole of the original copyright material.
>> >
>> > Bug fixes do not constitute original works. Bugfix code is typically
>> > intertwined with the original, leaving you no valid basis to claim
>> > copyright protection.
>> >


> It might be difficult to establish copyright for minor tweaks to existing
> code, but substantive work to replace or enhance the original work would
> qualify for copyright (for the new work, not the original).


Yes, which defeats your point and makes Peterwn look rather foolish in the
end. Nice going!

>> >> Of course, the original material is defective without the bugfix
>> >> (otherwise, you wouldn't need the bugfix)
>> >
>> > If you're marketing a bug fix, you'd surely say that. But then anyone
>> > is
>> > entilted to "fix" public domain code for their own use -- kind of like
>> > writing your own "Happy Birthday" song verse. Good programmers will
>> > find
>> > something more worthwhile to do.
>> >
>> >>>>If the software copyright term were to be dropped to five years,
>> >>>>while
>> >>>> the original code would be 'out of copyright' after five years,
>> >>>> subsequent modifications, bug fixes etc would still be 'in
>> >>>> copyright'
>> >>>> beyond that five years.
>> >>>
>> >>> No. A bug fix doesn't extend copyright protection either.
>> >>
>> >> The bugfix doesn't extend copyright protection for the original
>> >> material,
>> >> but the bugfix does have copyright protection in its own right.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >
>> > No. Bug fixes do not constitute original works and so they are not
>> > entitled
>> > to copyright protection.
>> >
>> >>>>>> After five years the original code would be
>> >>>>>> of limited use, hence my argument that a 5 year limit (which I
>> >>>>>> never
>> >>>>>> suggested in the first place) would have little adverse effect on
>> >>>>>> the
>> >>>>>> creators of GPL'd code, Windows XP, etc etc.
>> >>>>>
>> >>>>> Yeah, right. 2015: RedHat emerges as the world's #1 provider of
>> >>>>> copyright
>> >>>>> expiration date pop-ups. Good luck with that.
>> >>>
>> >>>> I can answer your comments very easily.
>> >>>>
>> >>>
>> >>> Apparently, you can only do that "easily" if you delete all your
>> >>> previous
>> >>> comments and mine. I understand, you've been caught out making up
>> >>> nonsense
>> >>> about copyright and the GPL, and it's inconvenient for you to have
>> >>> those
>> >>> facts staring you in the face. Carry on.
>> >>>
>> >>>> Agreed modification to the original code does not extend copyright
>> >>>> to
>> >>>> the original code,
>> >>>
>> >>> Good, so you admit you were wrong. You can't fabricate a patch or
>> >>> bug
>> >>> fix
>> >>> every year and claim an extension of copyright protection on the
>> >>> original
>> >>> work.
>> >>>
>> >>>> but the modifications themselves are subject to
>> >>>> fresh copyright in favour of the creator of the modifications. That
>> >>>> copyright starts from when the modidications were created.
>> >>>
>> >>> Only if your "modifications" are original and substantial enough to
>> >>> create a
>> >>> new work that stands on its own. A new function, utility, add-in,
>> >>> driver,
>> >>> etc would qualify. Tweaking a few lines of code here and there would
>> >>> not.
>> >>>
>> >>>> This would
>> >>>> in due course lead to the situation where the original code is out
>> >>>> of
>> >>>> copyright while the amendments remain in copyright. Amen.
>> >>>>
>> >>>
>> >>> Again, only if the "amendments" are original and substantial enough
>> >>> to
>> >>> create a new work that stands on its own.
>> >>>
>> >>>> Such a situation is no different from MS Windows which contains some
>> >>>> public domain (or virtually public domain) code such as the TCP/IP
>> >>>> stack (for the sake of clarity I do not mean GPL'd code). You will
>> >>>> be
>> >>>> delighted to hear that the presence of such code does not nullify
>> >>>> the
>> >>>> copyright of Windows at large.
>> >>>>
>> >>>
>> >>> Original works that stand on their own are entitled to copyright
>> >>> protection.
>> >>>
>> >>>> Even in the case of bug fixes, the creator of the fixes (eg
>> >>>> Microsoft)
>> >>>> sometimes reserves rights to the fixes and may even require a fresh
>> >>>> EULA for their installation.
>> >>>
>> >>> But this doesn't extend the copyright on the original work as you
>> >>> have
>> >>> claimed.
>> >>>
>> >>

>


 
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impossible
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      08-02-2009

"peterwn" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...

> I am still waiting for the cops to raid my joint following
> his threatening language (which is just hot air).


Coming soon to a Kiwi court near you:
http://www.informationweek.com/news/...leID=218900365
http://www.informationweek.com/news/...leID=218400809

 
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