GPL and Copyright Notification

Dave J Woolley david.woolley at
Tue Apr 17 10:30:48 UTC 2001

> From:	August Zajonc [SMTP:augustz at]
> Note: If this has been covered before, I'd be happy for a pointer to the
> proper list thread or FAQ.
	This is GPL specific, so ought to be asked on the USENET
	gnu.misc.discuss (?) group.

> Powered by MyCoolSoftware
	IANAL but I believe that any requirement to include the above line
	would be in breach of the GPL as it would be an additional

> Copyright 2001 MyCoolGroup
	[DJW:]  The GPL is founded on copyright, so it is essential that
	the copyright ownership of any GPLed work is clear.  Original
	parts of a derived work remain the intellectual property of the
	original author and they are the people that own the copyright of
	those parts.

	On the other hand, this notice is misleading, as it implies that
	using the software assigns the copyright of the discussion content,
	which would be an additional constraint and not allowed.  In most
	cases, it seems to me that the FSF actually grant additional 
	permissions so that the equivalent of the generated web page is not 
	considered a derived work of the program.

	As I understand it, in Europe, the original author has a legal
	"moral right" to be identified as the author even if the copyright
	is assigned, so attempting to hide the true origins of the code
	might also breach a right that cannot be waived.

	As I understand it, the requirement to display copyright notices
	is inteded to insure that people realise the program is copyrighted
	and are also made aware of the licence document.  It may
	well be acceptable to give a reference to the full list of coyright

	You appear not to have met what is probably the most imporant
	which is a pointer to the text of the GPL.


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