Is it possible to sue infringers under the GPL?

Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M. rod at
Fri Mar 10 03:41:08 UTC 2000

Well, to be precise, one of you is confusing the common sense meaning of
"creator" with the meaning of that term under copyright law. Creation of a
patch does not make you a creator under copyright.

Rod Dixon, J.D., LL.M.
rod at

> -----Original Message-----
> From: cowan at
> [mailto:cowan at]On Behalf Of John Cowan
> Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2000 10:04 AM
> To: license-discuss at
> Subject: Re: Is it possible to sue infringers under the GPL?
> 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)

More information about the License-discuss mailing list