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Re: the GNU GPL, and dual-licensing

Scripsit Glenn Maynard <g_dlegal@zewt.org>
> On Wed, May 15, 2002 at 12:23:38PM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:

> > In short, *any* addition or subtraction to the license terms of the GPL
> > made by an author is an act of "dual-licensing".  A copyright holder
> > can, of course, cease distributing a work under the terms of the GNU GPL
> > if that is incompatible with a larger licensing strategy.

> Does this apply to the software at
> where the author puts the software under the GPL, and then (separately)
> says: 

> "Whenever a specific copyright notice conflicts with the GNU General
> Public License, the specific copyright provision(s) will take precedence
> over the GNU General Public License. 

One supposes so. However, if those "specific copyright notices" give
*less* rights than the GPL, the whole thing is inconsistently licensed,
and probably illegal to distribute at all.

> (This program has a larger problem: many source files start with the text
> //  JFC Copyright (C) Glenn Rosenthal, 1999,2000,2001.               //
> //  All rights reserved.                                             //
> which is contradictory, but that's a different issue.)

Not really. If I'm correctly informed, the "All rights reserved" is a
magic incantation that once was requred for *claiming* copyright
(some say it still is, under the Pan-American Copyright Treaty which
supposedly has signees who haven't signed the Berne Convention. But I
haven't checked).

Once you have reserved all your rights, you are in possession of a
copyright which you can *then* use to put the softare under GPL.

It is true that "Copyright N.N., all rights reserved" *by itself* is
equivalent to no license, but that is because it *is* no licence, and
therefore it cannot conflict with another statement by the same author
that GPL applies.

Henning Makholm                           "og de står om nissen Teddy Ring."

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