[Fwd: Re: GPL and NDA]

M. Drew Streib dtype at dtype.org
Wed Aug 1 16:05:32 UTC 2001

On Wed, Aug 01, 2001 at 11:58:06AM -0400, Russell Nelson wrote:
>  > Let's say I create such a derivative work, and I don't GPL it.  But I
>  > leave it somewhere (accidentally, with no malice aforethought) where
>  > somebody else finds it, with no copyright or GPL notice.  Now they take
>  > it and use it as is or create a derivative work, and distribute it as a
>  > closed source program.
>  > 
>  > What is the status in a case like that?
> They are infringing on your copyright.  You have not given them
> permission to copy the program; therefore they have none.  They may
> use the copy that they got from you (if they did so legally) but
> without copy rights, they cannot give a copy to anyone else.

There isn't particularly clear precedent on whether or not they can even
use the program at all, depending on how they 'found' it. Courts are still
deciding to what degree simply putting something on the internet 
constitutes some implied license. Under traditional copyright, display
of one's work does not grant _any_ rights to the end user beyond basic
fair use.


M. Drew Streib <dtype at dtype.org> | http://dtype.org/
FSG <dtype at freestandards.org>    | Linux International <dtype at li.org>
freedb <dtype at freedb.org>        | SourceForge <dtype at sourceforge.net>
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