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GCC and copyright registration

From: Rjack
Subject: GCC and copyright registration
Date: Fri, 20 Feb 2009 17:50:56 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20081209)

The Free Software Foundation has sued Cisco for infringement of its
*registered works* in the Second Federal Circuit. One of the works
is claimed to be the GCC compiler:

"18. Plaintiff holds registered copyrights in GLibC (Registrations
#TX 5-873-252 and TX 6-509-281), Coreutils (TX 6-073-883), Wget (TX
6-099-872), GCC (TX 2-084-819, TX 5-948-615, TX 6-030-547, TX
6-191-571, TX 6-268-075, TX 6-537-950, TX 6-538-142), Binutils (TX
5-789-407), and GDB (TX 1-926-144, TX 6-084-476)".

Now, one of the most heralded benefits of open source code is the
fact that improvements in the form of derivative works are readily
available. Contributors assign ownership of their modifications to
the FSF. Unfortunately the registration of the original work does
not give rise to registration for derivative works for the owner.
The last version of GCC to be registered was in 2006. Unless the
defendant (Cisco) is accused of distributing the 2006 version of
GCC, the suit is without legal standing:

"Under section 411(a), registration of a claim on an original work
does not create subject matter jurisdiction with respect to a suit
for infringement of the original's unregistered derivative.";
Well-Made Toy Mfg. Corp. v. Goffa, 354 F.3d 112 (2d Cir. 2003).

Rjack :)

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