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

[-devel removed from CC]

On Wed, 17 Feb 1999, Craig Sanders wrote:

> On Tue, Feb 16, 1999 at 11:18:54AM -0600, John Hasler wrote:
> > If I got it as "public domain" (that is, "do whatever you want with this")
> > then that is not relicensing.  He said "do whatever you want with this" so
> > I did.
> "anything" includes the action of re-licensing. i.e. he is explicitly
> allowed to re-license it under whatever terms he chooses.

No it doesn't.

You cannot relicense anything, unless it is your copyright.

The reason that a software author grants a license is that otherwise his
software cannot be copied ('copyright').  To copy a work, you need the
permission of the copyright holder, and only the copyright holder.

Copyright can be transferred, and indeed bought and sold.  But the only
way you can appear to 'get copyright' on a work is to manage to
incorporate some original work of your own in such a way that the original
cannot be disentangled.  And then the new work has joint copyright - so
permission of both copyright holders is required to copy it.


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|  Julian Bean   | jmlb2@hermes.cam.ac.uk        |  TW9 2TF *UK*       |
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