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Re: Are Microsoft’s patent lawyers really this dumb?

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Are Microsoft’s patent lawyers really this dumb?
Date: Sun, 08 Jul 2007 12:43:44 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.1.50 (gnu/linux)

Kurt Häusler <> writes:

> On Sun, 08 Jul 2007 12:24:38 +0200, David Kastrup wrote:
>> Kurt Häusler <> writes:
>>> By leaving their name in the text of the gpl license file rather
>>> than say overwriting it with either my name or my employer's
>>> name. Which is standard practice right?
>> Sigh.  That makes the license remain copyrighted by the FSF, but does
>> not affect your software.  Without an explicit transfer of copyright
>> (and a legal step such as transfer of ownership requires _two_
>> consenting parties and can't be done unilaterally by writing some
>> stuff into a file), the copyright remains with the author.
> Ahh that makes sense, now. I don't know why I was under that
> misunderstanding for so long! I am sure I have seen other instances
> of people putting their own name in the gpl.txt in order to claim
> copyright over the software itself and maybe thats what confused
> me. I think I better stick to either public domain or commercial
> licenses for now, at least until I become a lawyer or able to afford
> one!

Being clueless about licensing does not make the GPL worse than the
alternatives.  You can perfectly well license your software under the
GPL without having the FSF get involved at all.  In fact, when people
transfer their copyright to FSF (which is routinely done by a written
copyright assignment, typically for core GNU projects), they _stop_
from licensing their software at all, leaving that to the FSF (the FSF
with their standard forms grantback a sublicense to the original
author allowing him to sublicense his software under any conditions he
likes even though the copyright has transferred to the FSF).

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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