Licensing a python module

Ben Tilly btilly at
Thu Apr 24 15:16:41 UTC 2008

On Thu, Apr 24, 2008 at 2:39 AM, Cinly Ooi <cinly.ooi at> wrote:
> On 24/04/2008, Matthew Flaschen <matthew.flaschen at> wrote:
> >
> > If you work as a programmer/software engineer/reasonably related
> profession, it's quite possible that the module already belongs to your
> employer.  It might even if your occupation were unrelated to software.
> This would all depend on your employment contract and your jurisdiction.
> First thing first, IANAL.
> The copyright is usually, by default, owned by your employer. GPL's
> provision does not kick in unless you distribute it, i.e., give the module
> to a third party. With GPL, there is no transfer of copyright, i.e. your
> employer or you still own the copyright, but there are restrictions on
> distribution

Doublecheck that "usually, by default."  Matthew is completely right
about jurisdiction mattering.  If you live in New York then by default
it belongs to your lawyer.  If you live in California and developed
the module in your own time on your own equipment, then you own it by
default.  In short, it varies and you need to consult a local lawyer
to know what situation applies to you.


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