Copyright Act preempts itself

BSD Protector bsdprotector at
Thu Feb 12 07:17:44 UTC 2004


I wasn't actually expecting an answer. I was just
thinking outloud after I've read a lot of the "such
and such preempts the GPL" stuff.

What I've concluded after reading the Copyright Act is

1. The Act explicitly establishes the concept of
licensing, completely independently of any contracts.
In other words, the notion that "every license is a
contract, be it bilateral or unilateral" is in fact
completely wrong. To authorize means to license - the
Act gives that power, nothing else is required.

2. The Act recognises the concept of licesensing under
conditions. It is therefore not necessary for any 
contract to exist in order to enforce those
conditions. The license is either given if conditions
are met or it is not if they are not met.

3. The Act recognises the concept of multiple
permissions given by owners of copyright without any
agreement between those owners. In other words, it is
not necessary (but it is also not forbidden) for the
owners to form a contract in order to authorize
anything. What is needed is that the recieving party
has all necessary permissions and that the conditions
are met.

--- "Lawrence E. Rosen" <lrosen at> wrote:
> Read my book when it is published in the next few
> months. In the meantime,
> please don't expect any attorney to answer your
> broad questions in an email
> thread. (You may get lucky. There are some attorneys
> on here with time on
> their hands.)
> /Larry Rosen

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