license <-> copyright

Toon Knapen toon at
Fri Mar 2 17:00:32 UTC 2001

John Cowan wrote:
> Toon Knapen wrote:
> > As I understand it, the copyright holder can
> > define the a license on his work which stipulates
> > what you can do with his work without breaking
> > the copyright.
> Just so.
> > Next I also wanted to ask if a copyright is
> > transferable.
> Yes.  In the U.S. (and in practice everywhere), such a
> transfer must be in writing and signed by the
> developer.
unless, I assume, one gives the copyright to the
other person from the moment the 'work' is created.
Since in this case the copyright is never owned by
the person who created the 'work'(is that 
legal/possible), there is never a
transfer and thus no administration is necessary

> > For instance : is it best that
> > all developers in an open-source project transfer
> > their copyright to the project manager ?
> That is a matter of opinion.  Only the copyright holder
> can sue for infringement, so centralizing it in one place
> can be useful in case of a lawsuit.  The FSF holds
> the copyright on GNU works for that reason.
Do you mean that, if you release your work under
the GPL license that the FSF becomes automatically
the copyright owner ?
This would be the inverse of my first question asking/
saying that the copyright holder can define the license.
Does thus the GPL license define the copyright holder ?


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