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Re: Effect of transfer of copyright on free software licenses?

From: Rjack
Subject: Re: Effect of transfer of copyright on free software licenses?
Date: Tue, 21 Jul 2009 11:57:50 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090605)

Hyman Rosen wrote:
Rjack wrote:
Uhhhh... what's murky?

A rights holder can both have offered non-exclusive grants, and
subsequently transferred copyright ownership. How all of this would
interact with the world of open licenses, where signed agreements
are generally non-existent and works are handed off from one third
party to another with the licensed consent of the author, is quite

As usual, you choose to claim that the outcome would be such as to
disfavor the intended operation of the GPL, but also as usual,
there is no reason to believe your claim.

As usual you choose to ignore clear statutory authority:

"§ 106. Exclusive rights in copyrighted works.

Subject to sections 107 through 122, the owner of copyright under this
title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the
following: ... "

You may cavalierly ignore the clear statutory wording of the Copyright
Act (the same as you do concerning 17 USC sec. 301) but it won't make
the statute go away. The federal courts will closely follow the
language of the copyright statutes. The meaning of "owner of
copyright" won't change nor will the meaning of "exclusive rights".
The only thing unclear is your mind. If Congress would have wanted
third parties to "hand off" (authorize) copyright permissions it would
have made provision in the Copyright Act instead of using the words
"owner" and "exclusive".

Your denial runs as deep and is as futile as Eben Moglen's claims that
the GPL is not a contract despite rulings by the Supreme Court and all
Federal Circuits to the contrary.

Living in denial is not psychologically healthy Hyman. At some point
reality sets in.


“[A] copyright license is a contract like any other contract”.; Apple
Computer, Inc. v. Microsoft Corp., 717 F. Supp. 1428, 1432 (N.D. Cal.

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