Ken Brown kenbrown at
Thu Oct 24 18:13:03 UTC 2002

The inherent standard in court for copyright is ownership and control.  The
GPL negates your individual permissions.  In addition, you revoke all rights
to control distribution.  Sure you can say that there is a copyright, but to
me its like claiming ownership of air. Read the copyright restrictions that
lawyers right for copyrighted work.  They insist on 100% control of any and
every alteration and permission on ALL distribution.  The GPL is the


-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Lance Taylor [mailto:ian at]
Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2002 2:00 PM
To: Ken Brown
Cc: license-discuss at
Subject: Re: Copyright

"Ken Brown" <kenbrown at> writes:

> Lets deal with this one at a time.  My first question is this-who does the
> code belong to once it is GPL'ed?  What entity, person, group, troll,
> whoever owns the code?

It belongs to the copyright holder.

I've written free software myself.  I own the copyright on that
software, and the files are so labelled.  I've put the software under
the GPL.  That doesn't mean that I don't own it.  It just means that
other people are permitted to do certain things with it.

(This answer assumes the current intellectual property regime.  It's
possible to make a different answer philosophically, but practically
speaking today the copyright holder owns the code.)

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