[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: GFDL and Anonymity --- another problem?

Mathieu Roy said:
> A license is valid because there is a known copyright holder that
> explicitely said that his work can be distributed under this license.
>       "0. This License applies to any program or other work which
>           contains a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it
>           may be distributed under the terms of this General Public
>           License."
> So I wonder how it would be possible for a license to be valid with an
> anonymous copyright holder.

The license applies if the copyright holder put the notice there.

The only thing that's required is the notice that it may be distributed, not
any identification of who the copyright holder is.

Under the Berne convention, copyright applies whether there is a proper
"copyright notice" (i.e. "Copyright &copr; 2003 Joe Moore.  All Rights
Reserved") or not.  Therefore there is a copyright holder for the work even
if they are not identified.

Such a work (one without a copyright notice, or identifiable copyright
holder) would probably not be distributed by Debian, since there is no
assurance that the work is really licensed under the GPL by the copyright

(snip GPL-Howto part)
> I would not be surprised if in many countries software with no author
> is in fact a proprietary software.

Either I don't understand the meaning of this statement, or I completely
agree with this vacuous premise.

All extant works have an author.  Therefore works with no author do not
exist, therefore all works with no author (i.e. nothing) are proprietary
software.  Of course, it is equally true that all software with no author is
in the public domain, and that all software with no author is written in


Reply to: