Implications for switching licenses mid-stream

Rick Moen rick at
Wed Apr 23 18:56:26 UTC 2008

Quoting Chuck Swiger (chuck at

> Woah, Nellie!  Ben's entire posting was "If I reissue the work with  
> nothing changed [but] the copyright statement,
> the work has been modified so isn't it now a derivative work?"

I'm sorry that I don't have the substantive prior thread in front of me.

The situation I believed we were speaking of involved a collective
work's change of licence; thus Ben Tilly's reference to coverage of that
topic in the Raymonds' Licensing HOWTO.

> I can't reconcile Ben's hypothetical example: where a third party who  
> has made no changes to the copyrighted material itself, but only to  
> the copyright statement [...]

The phrase "changes to the copyright statement" seems a bit
non-specific, and might be where we're having a problem.  Obviously,
changing attributions is at best deeply unethical and might well commit
various sorts of frauds and (depending on situations) contract
violations, not to mention being a very scummy deed.  

(Oddly enough, in US law, that scummy deed doesn't violate _copyright_
law, as was called to my attention a couple of months ago.)

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