Is license text copyrightable? [was: Re: Is OSL 2.0 compliant with DFSG?]
On Sun, 11 Apr 2004, Francesco Poli wrote:
>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 seem to
>suggest that legal text is not considered copyrightable.
> compare <http://www.fsf.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#ModifyGPL>
> and copyright notice in <http://www.fsf.org/licenses/gpl.txt>
As far as i can understand, license cannot be copyrightable
_as_ _license_. I.e. you can not prevent someone else from granting
to public his own work under the same license terms as your.
But, on the other hand, license can be copyrightable as mere text,
i.e for purposes to printing in books (which is not under that
license itself), creating collections of
popular licenses, etc.