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Re: Problem with GPLv3 FAQ about linking with Visual C++

From: Hyman Rosen
Subject: Re: Problem with GPLv3 FAQ about linking with Visual C++
Date: Mon, 08 Feb 2010 14:08:44 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20091204 Thunderbird/3.0

On 2/8/2010 1:40 PM, RJack wrote:
Just ask Bruce Perens and about twenty other BusyBox developers

Registration of copyright is for the author's contribution
to a work, or for the result of compiling the contributions
of others into a single work. It does not necessarily claim
ownership of the entire work. Please see Gaiman v. McFarlane,
360 F.3d 644 (7th Cir. 2004). Therefore, it is not relevant
that there are other authors of BusyBox, or that they do not
wish to enforce the GPL against infringers.

    The creator of a compilation is entitled to copyright it as
    long as it’s a work “formed by the collection and assembling
    of preexisting materials or of data that are selected,
    coordinated, or arranged in such a way that the resulting
    work as a whole constitutes an original work of authorship.”
    17 U.S.C. § 101; see also § 103. The compiler’s copyright
    entitles him to reprint the contents of the compilation in
    future editions of the compilation. 17 U.S.C. § 201(c); New
    York Times Co. v. Tasini, 533 U.S. 483, 493-97 (2001). But
    all the other rights of copyright remain in the authors of
    the contributions, provided the contributions satisfy the
    criteria of copyrightability. Therefore the compiler’s
    copyright notice is not adverse to the contributors’
    copyrights and so does not put them on notice that their
    rights are being challenged. On the contrary, “a single
    copyright notice applicable to the collective work as a whole
    serves to indicate protection for all the contributions in
    the collective work, except for advertisements, regardless of
    the ownership of copyright in the individual contributions
    and whether they have been published previously.” United
    States Copyright Office, Circular No. 3: Copyright Notice 3
    (2004); see Sanga Music, Inc. v. EMI Blackwood Music, Inc.,
    55 F.3d 756, 759-60 (2d Cir. 1995); Abend v. MCA, Inc., 863
    F.2d 1465, 1469 (9th Cir. 1988), aff’d under the name Stewart
    v. Abend, 495 U.S. 207 (1990).
    In addition to the copyright notices, McFarlane registered
    copyright on the issues and the books. But to suppose that by
    doing so he provided notice to Gaiman of his exclusive claim
    to the characters is again untenable. Authors don’t consult
    the records of the Copyright Office to see whether someone has
    asserted copyright in their works; and anyway McFarlane’s
    registrations no more revealed an intent to claim copyright in
    Gaiman’s contributions, as distinct from McFarlane’s own
    contributions as compiler and illustrator, than the copyright
    notices did. The significance of registration is that it is a
    prerequisite to a suit to enforce a copyright. More precisely,
    an application to register must be filed, and either granted
    or refused, before suit can be brought. 17 U.S.C. § 411(a).

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