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Re: What is the licence of Debian-specific files (Was: Intent to package "vibrant" graphical library

On Tue, Feb 16, 1999 at 08:44:23AM -0600, John Hasler wrote:
> Craig Sanders writes:
> > because the original work is public domain, you can even re-license the
> > entire work under your own terms...e.g. the GPL.
> You cannot relicense someone else's work.

public domain work needs no license - you can do whatever you want with
it, including re-license it under your own terms. this is true whether
you make significant changes or not....the difficulty is in proving that
someone violated your license if you didn't make significant changes.

> > nothing would stop anyone else from treating the original as
> > PD (because it *is* PD), but your version (including all your
> > enhancements) would be GPL. so nobody can steal your work into a
> > proprietary program.
> And they can take his version, extract the original work embedded
> therin, and treat it as PD.

not at all.  HIS derived work (*all* of it) is GPL.  Only the original
is public domain.

of course, it's difficult to prove that someone extracted the original
content from the GPL version rather than simply downloading the original
PD version.

the point is that if enough enhancements are made under the GPL then the
PD version will be abandoned in favour of the GPL fork.

> > you can certainly release a BSD-licensed work with your patches and
> > license your changes under the GPL. this puts the entire derived
> > work under the terms of both the BSD license and the GPL.
> The real BSD, complete with its silly advertising clause, is
> incompatible with the GPL.

no it's not.

a work licensed under the terms of both the GPL and the BSD license is
effectively a GPL-ed work with the advertising clause.


craig sanders

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