Open source shareware?

John Cowan jcowan at
Fri Nov 9 15:54:31 UTC 2001

Angelo Schneider wrote:

> What is the Berne Convention?

> I only know the term in conjunction with international treties to
> respect each others copy right laws.

Just so.  It also sets minimum standards; for example, the "moral right
to be known as the author" is protected in some countries (France) but
not others (in the U.S. it is only allowed to visual works, not to
textual or audio works).  But the right to control the making of
derivative works is everywhere protected under Article 12.
(There are no longer any important countries outside Berne.)

Of course, there are de minimis exceptions: you will not be sued for
making marginal notes in your copy of someone else's book, even though
book+notes is technically a derivative work, or translating the
book into Bulgarian for your own use.  But technically these are
violations, and cases have turned on them.

Not to perambulate             || John Cowan <jcowan at>
    the corridors               ||
during the hours of repose     ||
    in the boots of ascension.  \\ Sign in Austrian ski-resort hotel

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