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Re: Question about the GPL copyright notice and the statement of copying

From: Stefaan A Eeckels
Subject: Re: Question about the GPL copyright notice and the statement of copying permission not being included in all the source files of a product.
Date: Thu, 1 Jul 2004 10:19:33 +0200

On Thu, 01 Jul 2004 01:28:58 +0200
Alexander Terekhov <> wrote:

> Carthik wrote:
> [...]
> > If a software "product" which consists of 'n' different source files
> > is distributed as bundle with a copy of the GNU General Public License
> > document (license.txt), but none of the 'n' (or maybe 'm' out of the
> > 'n') source files in the product contain any kind of copyright
> > statement , or reference to the GPL, are the files under GPL? Is the
> > product considered to be released under GPL?
> No. What you've got is a bunch of literary works (distributed as 
> bundle).

Not unless it is clear that there is no relationship
between the components of the "bundle". djbdns is a
single work, like James Joyce's Ulysses is a single work.
It is quite clear from that the author
considers his works to be qmail, djbdns, daemontools,
etc, and _not_ the individual source files that make up
these works. _Your_ appreciation of what constitutes 
someone else's work is irrelevant. No sane person
would claim that Ulysses is anything else but a single
literary work, even though the relationship between 
the chapters, or even paragraphs of the same chapter
can be quite tenuous to the uninitiated :-). 

> For example, a "software product" may contain unbundled
> stuff taken from the D. J. Bernstein's djbdns*** bundle PLUS some 
> GPL'ed stuff and something taken from the public domain. 

Indeed, a "software product" could contain all of this.
You could run it on your own systems to your heart's
content, but you would not be able to reproduce and
distribute it unless if you have received the permission
of the copyright holders. 

"What is stated clearly conceives easily."  -- Inspired sales droid

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