Get ready....

Arkin arkin at
Thu Apr 15 03:52:30 UTC 1999

Copyright was invented to cover literary work and protect the authors of
literary work. Legal documents are not literary works. There are so many
ways you can express the same contractual agreement. Thus, you may
freely copy all portions of the GPL that are strictly legal clauses.

Be careful not to copy the Premable, which may well be considered a
literary work, and is justly copyrighted. Fear not, as it holds no legal
meaning whatsoever (English explanations are not considered legally

The GPL is, however, subject to trademark restrictions, thus, you cannot
use the term GPL to promote your license. If you say that your license
is similar to the GPL you must explicitly express how and in what way it
is different. Anything else is trademark infrigement.


phred at wrote:
> Practically speaking, though, lawyers copy each others' work all the
> time ("boilerplate").  A license, a statement of words in the English
> language, is not a copyright in and of itself, as I understand it.
> If someone who really understands this would come along and clarify,
> I would be happy to shut up now.
> phred

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