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Is license text copyrightable? [was: Re: Is OSL 2.0 compliant with DFSG?]



On Sat, 10 Apr 2004 09:44:18 -0400 Jeremy Hankins wrote:

> This license is Copyright (C) 2003 Lawrence E. Rosen.  All rights
> reserved.  Permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute this
> license without modification.  This license may not be modified
> without the express written permission of its copyright owner.

This brings up the question (once again): is a legal text, such as a
copyright license, copyrightable? In which jurisdictions?

I know that, of course, people other than copyright holders of a given
work *cannot* change the license _applied_ to that work.

But can they pick the license text and modify it in order to create
_another_ license (with different license name)?

Discussions about the GNU GPL preamble and the GPL FAQ[1] seem to
suggest that legal text is not considered copyrightable.


[1] compare <http://www.fsf.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#ModifyGPL>
    and copyright notice in <http://www.fsf.org/licenses/gpl.txt>

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  Francesco  |        Key fingerprint = | and, all of a sudden, boom!
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