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RE: [ba-unrev-talk] GPL?


I apologize for being so US-centric in my analysis.  The US law is the one
known to me and of course it is that jurisdiction of the GPL that most of us
are discussing.  However, there is great international/multilateral
uniformity (excluding China, perhaps) and I have not heard anything to
suggest that there is much international deviation on the notion of
derivative works.  Here is what little I think I know:    (01)

There are International Copyright Conventions and the US and other nations
have been aligning their laws with them over time, as well as pressing for
uniformity from other nations (e.g., promoting the equivalent of the DMCA in
the European Union, etc) and for updates to the international conventions.
The US has made treaty  arrangements around copyright alignment for years
( I think the Berne convention started in the 1930's if not before), and the
alignment with new conventions is something that all of the nations work out
over time.  In addition, nations honor copyrights of each other's publishers
and authors.  That is, a Finnish  work copyright in Finland and sold in the
US is protected under US copyright law.  (I am giving a very superficial
statement of all of this.  It may be more involved than I suggest.)  The
claiming of copyright via the -symbol, date, and name of the copyright
holder is an internationally-established convention.  The practice in the US
has been modified to align with that (hence no further use of the word
Copyright or the "(c)" form is appropriate, because it has no international
standing, and the "all rights reserved" clause is also disappearing from
practice).    (02)

If your nation is a signatory of the Berne Convention (or one of the
others), or is in the EU, much of what is said here applies.  I believe the
exclusive rights of authors are very close, and there may be even more
protections for authors in other countries.  I don't think any of them
diminish that it is the author that has the exclusive right to make
derivative works and to license others doing so.    (03)

I would say that there are no international copyright issues with GPL.  It
works just fine as a copyright license in any country that honors the
commonly-held international copyright conventions, including the US.  The
question is whether or not people like it and understand what it takes to
conform to it in making derivative works of open-source software versus
adoption of a different license.  And Linux, with a tremendous contribution
from international authors, is covered by the GPL.    (04)

Do you have any reason to believe that a judge in any Berne-convention
jurisdiction would extend derivative works to cover more than is likely in
the US, which tends to strongly favor intellectual-property holders?  Are
you aware of any different sense of derivative works that US-based authors
and modifiers of open-source software need to be attentive to?  Or are you
saying that the incorporation of any GPL-d component in a non-GPLd product
is risky because it might be found in violation at an international level?    (05)

-- Dennis    (06)

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-ba-unrev-talk@bootstrap.org
[mailto:owner-ba-unrev-talk@bootstrap.org]On Behalf Of Teemu Leinonen
Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 09:15
To: ba-unrev-talk@bootstrap.org
Subject: Re: [ba-unrev-talk] GPL?    (07)


Dennis E. Hamilton wrote:
> Now there is lots of cyber-lawyering on what "derivative work" means.
Those
> who fear the GPL think it would taint things like the operating system you
> run it on and scripts that link to it or bind the GPL'd work into other
> things.  Microsoft makes scare statements about that sort of thing.
> Stallman has made statements that suggest he holds that view too.  But
> Stallman is not a Federal judge, nor are the anti-GPL wonks at Microsoft.    (08)

..and the US Federal Judge is not the International Law.    (09)

It's good to remember that, most of the people in the Globe are not
under the US jurisdiction.    (010)

Maybe the copyright issues (GPL etc.) will push USA to develop the
International Law with other Nations - maybe not.    (011)

- Teemu    (012)