Copyright holders Edit
- Stallman: If someone has been violating the licence with an entire GNU/Linux distribution, which, right now, if you did that, there are thousands of GPL covered programs in a GNU/Linux distribution, which means your licence for all of them has been terminated automatically and how in the World are you going to contact all those developers to beg them to give you permission again? Whereas, with this change, what will happen is, some of them will say "We see you're violating the licence, this is the notice". At that point you'll say "Oops", you'll fix it, and during the 60 days that follow, some additional developers may decide to put you on notice. But since they see you did it by accident, and that you've fixed it, they'll probably say "ok, I won't terminate your licence" and then you're ok. The point is that with the thousands of other developers who didn't do anything, you are not in trouble. With the ones who have put you on notice, at least you know where to reach them, so that they can say eventually "ok, we see that you've fixed it, we won't terminate your licence, you're ok." This provision was designed to help people who accidentally violate the requirements and fix it, without interfering with the ability to enforce the licence legally against willful violators.
Transcript of conference held by RMS(Richard Stallman from fsf.org). Notice how Stallman deceitfully avoids identifying these people and corporations such as Redhat with the power to revoke the license as the copyright holders.
- No, in general it can't. The only time we can do that is in situations where the developer or distributor of a certain program legally has certain powers, and if so, that developer or distributor can waive those powers too, and if he can waive those powers, GPL version three will say "by distributing this program, you waive the power over this program." That's the only case in which the GPL can override a national law, it's when the national law itself gives the distributors of a program the option to do so.
Copyright law Edit
While the overall subject of copyright law is far beyond the scope of this document, some basics are in order. Under the current copyright law, copyrights are implicit in the creation of a new work and reside with the creator, unless otherwise assigned. In general the copyright applies only to the new work, not the material the work was derived from, nor those portions of the derivative material included in the new work.
Copyright law admits to three general categories of works:
Original Work A new work that is not derived from an existing work. Derivative Work Work that is derived from, includes or amends existing works. Compilations A work that is a compilation of existing new and derivative works. The fundamental concept is that there is primacy of the copyright, that is a copyright of a derivative work does not affect the rights held by the owner of the copyright of the original work, rather only the part added. Likewise the copyright of a compilation does not affect the rights of the owner of the included works, only the compilation as an entity.
It is vitally important to understand that copyrights are broad protections as defined by national and international copyright law. The "copyright notices" usually included in source files are not copyrights, but rather notices that a party asserts that they hold copyright to the material or to part of the material. Typically these notices are associated with license terms which grant permissions subject to copyright law and with disclaimers that state the position of the copyright holder/distributor with respect to liability surrounding use of the material.
Permissions - the flip side