Is it possible to sue infringers under the GPL?

David Johnson arandir at
Thu Mar 9 03:36:30 UTC 2000

On Wed, 08 Mar 2000, Seth David Schoen wrote:

> > Worse, if there are multiple authors, you probably need a majority 
> > of them present to press the complaint. How do you find out who the 
> > authors of an OSS project are, and how on earth would you track down
> > a majority of them?
> I'm just curious why you need a majority.  In the absence of some agreement
> between developers about the disposition of the copyright, isn't a GPLed
> work normally copyrighted in part by each of its contributors?

Ouch! Is that how people view Open Source modifications? It's a wonder
development even occurs. As I see it, if you submit a patch to my application,
and say that is what it is, that patch falls under my copyright. You still have
full rights to it outside of my application, but once it's included with your
permission, the whole is still mine.

But I can see where the opposite viewpoint is also valid. So, are contributors
automatically copyright holders?

David Johnson...

More information about the License-discuss mailing list