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Re: query from Georg Greve of GNU about Debian's opinion of the FDL

Georg said:
>Naturally, I'm more familiar with the European Copyright -- or Droit
>d'Auteur, rather -- systems, but since Europe is a very active region
>for Free Software, considering the European situation seems useful.

Please note that this system is contrary in its basis to the system in the 
US, which is also used in some form in most common-law based countries (most 
of the world). Under these systems copyright is a government-granted monopoly 
and not a 'natural right'.  The 'Droit d'Auteur' system is *much* more 
hostile to free software, free documentation, free speech, fair use rights, 
library privilege, the public domain, etc., etc., etc.

Note also that international copyright conventions, almost universally, grant 
copyright in each country 'as if' the author lived and wrote in the 
corresponding country.  What is copyrightable in the first place is not 
determined in any way by any international treaty, and varies from country to 
country.  What is fair use isn't internationally standard either.  Your 
copyright will expire at different times in different countries.  (The 
EU-formation treaties might be an exception, since they're rather more 
invasive than the normal international treaties.)

I seem to have to repeat this every time someone talks about copyrights. :-)

--Nathanael Nerode

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