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Re: Artifex v. Diebold: "The GPL is non-commercial!"

From: Rahul Dhesi
Subject: Re: Artifex v. Diebold: "The GPL is non-commercial!"
Date: Sun, 8 Feb 2009 00:37:28 +0000 (UTC)
User-agent: nn/6.7.0

Rjack <> writes:

>> But you haven't given a good reason why the FSF, when drafting a
>> license to be used globally, should make it US-specific.

>You have won Rahul!!!

>You have totally stumped me. I can't give a good reason for a global
>FSF license  -- the idea of a globally enforceable copyright license
>does not intersect with the reality I live -- but you and the FSF
>can keeping trying Rahul . . . there are 195 sovereign jurisdictions
>in the world, so do your best.

Good sarcasm, but I think you still missed the point. The Berne
convention (currently applicble to 164 countries -- see Wikipedia entry
for "Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works"
and references cited therein) makes copyright exist without requiring
any copyright notice.  You don't need the GPL to have the copyright.

The GPL exists not to create copyright but to loosen it.  The loosening
does not need to be be expressed in country-specific language.  Plain
English suffices.

I think you are proceeding on the mistaken assumption that in order to
get the benefit of copyright law, you must claim copyright in some
country-specific manner.  But the country-specific details are needed,
if needed at all, only to file a lawsuit and/or claim damages.  You
don't need country-specific language in the license document itself.

It's true that in the US, and possibly in other countries, copyright
registration may be needed to claim certain damages. This doesn't mean
that the license itself needs to be country-specific.

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