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Re: GFDL and Anonymity --- another problem?

Anthony DeRobertis <asd@suespammers.org> a tapoté :

> On Thursday, Oct 9, 2003, at 11:49 US/Eastern, Mathieu Roy wrote:
> >
> > A license is valid because there is a known copyright holder that
> > explicitely said that his work can be distributed under this license.
> > So I wonder how it would be possible for a license to be valid with an
> > anonymous copyright holder.
> I'd think so. Certainly the copyright is valid, and people can and do
> release,

Why is it certain?

> e.g., books under pseudonyms.

A book under pseudonym is not anonym. The fact that you do not know
what is the real identity of Emile Ajar does not make of his books
published by an anonymous.

You quoted the GFDL 4b:

	List on the Title Page, as authors, one or more persons or entities
	responsible for authorship of the modifications in the Modified
	Version, ....

Well, what makes you think that in this case pseudonyms would not be

> > The copyright holder can be an individual or a group, but in any
> > case an entity recognized by the law.
> Sure. But he doesn't have to identify himself, and certainly not by
> his actual name.

I'm not able to find in the GFDL text any occurence of "actual name". 
I searched for "name" in the GFDL and found only the following lines:

    39  A "Secondary Section" is a named appendix or a front-matter section of
    88  A section "Entitled XYZ" means a named subunit of the Document whose
    91  specific section name mentioned below, such as "Acknowledgements",
   162  C. State on the Title page the name of the publisher of the
   220  give permission to use their names for publicity for or to assert or
   231  copy.  If there are multiple Invariant Sections with the same name but
   233  adding at the end of it, in parentheses, the name of the original

 > > Please, take a look a the section "How to Apply These Terms to
> > Your New Programs" of the GPLv2.
> I'm talking about modifications to a program, not an original program,
> so this isn't quite relevant, but...

This is relevant to know which information must be at least in a GPLed

> >
> >         one line to give the program's name and an idea of what it
> > does.  Copyright (C) yyyy name of author
> The only effect of leaving off the proper copyright notice (in the US,
> at least) would be that people could more easily claim innocent (did
> not know work was under copyright) infringement.
> >
> >         Also add information on how to contact you by electronic and
> >         paper mail.
> Electronic mail can be fairly (or even completely) anonymous; and
> personally, I've never added a postal address to my GPL notices. I
> doubt it really matters.
> > I would not be surprised if in many countries software with no author
> > is in fact a proprietary software.
> I have no idea, though I don't see why that would be the case. It
> could just be that I'm a little biased by the US's --- and, indeed,
> the Internet's --- tradition of anonymous and pseudonymous works.

Anonym != pseudonym.

If nobody is able to confirm that he granted some rights over a work
(because nobody recognize being author of this work), there is no
reason to believe that you have some rights over this work.

If in the document it is clearly stated that there is no copyright
holder on earth, sure nobody would be able to sue someone. 
In any other case, an unfriendly copyright holder can suddenly appears
at any time. 
But it remains to be checked whether it is valid to claim that you
give away your rights as author now and for ever. 

Mathieu Roy
  Not a native english speaker: 

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