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

On Tue, 13 May 2003, Arnoud Galactus Engelfriet wrote:

> > > This approach means that authors will be forced to accept
> > > any kind of modifications, even those that directly go against
> > > their artistic wishes. The US system thinks this is OK since
> > > you got paid. The European system thinks this is not OK.
> > 
> > I think it's okay.  If you no longer hold copyright, how can it affects
> > your reputation?
> See above. People will recognize certain works as behind from
> a certain author. It could be the author sold the copyright,

I'm wondering how people will recognise the work as being produced by a
certain person.  I see two sorts of people here:

* Those who are familiar with the author's work, and will most likely
know what is and isn't the author's style.

* The rest of us.  They need some means of linking the author to the work
(whether it be a label, a book jacket, or whatever).  But the act of
labelling the work as the author's is saying "this is a work by <foo>".  If
it has been modified, however, it is no longer a work by <foo>, and hence
that would surely be libel (US or European, it doesn't really matter. 
Someone's telling porkies to make someone else look bad).

IANAL, so if I've made any major mistakes of logic or law, please point them
out (gently).

> > This is _not_ a legal argument.  It's a common sense argument.
> > Unfortunately some laws don't make sense.
> Indeed. So I guess the question is, do you want to pay
> any attention to laws that do not make sense? Are you
> worried about the (remote) possibility of free software
> authors accusing people of violating their moral rights
> to stop certain modifications?

Or their heirs and successors.  Either way, there is a way to essentially
take back what you've previously said, possibly leaving a lot of people in
the lurch.

I've seen a lot of people saying "but author's rights are OK because courts
won't make bad decisions", and then I look at the reams of really stupid
judgements made by people in decision-making positions, and shudder.

#include <disclaimer.h>
Matthew Palmer, Geek In Residence

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