Wired Article on the GPL

W. Yip weng at yours.com
Thu Mar 30 11:54:38 UTC 2000

On Wed, 29 Mar 2000 15:49:49 -0800, Chip Salzenberg <chip at valinux.com>
>By releasing under the GPL, the original authors surrendered their
>right to control GPL-compatible copying.  Having surrendered that
>right, the original authors are not able to transfer it.

Mattel's lawyers would certainly disagree with you on this one. They
probably would stand by their contract and claim that copyright has been
assigned to them.

In any event, the moot point here seems to be, in a nice metaphor, whether
license terms can overpower the nature of copyright, and how contractual
elements influence this. This directly affects the issue whether adopting
the GPL is to be equated with 'surrendering the right to control
GPL-compatible copying (and distribution)'.

>I seems to me that M has just paid money (a lot of money?  I dunno)
>for the IP equivalent of the Brooklyn Bridge. [1]  All they really
>purchased was the ability to create a prioprietary fork.

Apparently, this Brooklyn Bridge was sold for a single Canadian Dollar. A
nice summary to all the facts is in


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