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Re: [OT] Droit d'auteur vs. free software?

> I don't think so. On the contrary, BECAUSE of the fact that he
> voluntarily released his icons under GPL, it is an integral part of
> the artistic character of the work that it can be used in any context
> and with any modifications anyone pleases. Therefore, no actual use or
> modification can conceivably violate that artistic character, so §3
> subsection 2 can never apply to the work.
> It might be a different story if he released them under GPL not
> because of artistic vision but because someone paid him to do so.

In many cases of interest, works are released under the GPL because
they are derivative works of prior GPL'd works. Contributors to GPL'd
projects are required to license under the GPL and do not do so because
it expresses the artistic character of their work. Under your test, it
would appear that contributors would retain free-software-incompatible
moral rights over their contributions.

The main problem with moral rights seems to be inalienability. As far as
I understand it, artists can decide at the time of the use of the work
whether they believe it is prejudicial to their "honor and reputation."
They cannot promise to never raise such an objection. You seem to be
implying that by applying the GPL to a work, the developer irrevocably
divests herself from certain moral rights. Can't a developer GPL a work
today, but tomorrow decide that use in cruise missiles is not allowed?
In other words, if that developer walked into court, would the judge ask
what the artistic character of the work is today, or at the time of its
initial creation? If a developer convincingly argued that her reputation
was seriously harmred by a particular use, would a judge really say that
the application of the GPL in the past trumps that?

Second, I would imagine that a developer can argue or reinterpret
their initial intent. For example, they may never have thought that a
particular piece of code could find its way into a DRM system. Can't
they argue that they GPL'd the work years ago, but never intended the
work to be used for some particular evil use (for example because they
never imagined that particular use)?

Best regards,
Greg Pomerantz

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