Is it possible to sue infringers under the GPL?

John Cowan jcowan at
Thu Mar 9 15:04:15 UTC 2000

David Johnson wrote:

> 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.

Not at all.  Copyright subsists solely with the creator, unless 1) the work
is made for hire, or 2) the creator has made an exclusive transfer of
copyright.  The latter *must* be in writing.  The FSF insists on such
copyright transfer for all GNU-official stuff.


Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis vom dies! || John Cowan <jcowan at>
Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau,  ||
Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau,           ||
Und trank die Milch vom Paradies.            -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)

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