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Potential infringement of copyright
12-10-2016, 10:39 PM
Post: #22
RE: Potential infringement of copyright
(12-03-2016 11:07 PM)Paul Dale Wrote:  This is totally incorrect. Licencing something under the GPL does not relinquish the author's copyright, it sets out terms whereby others can use the work. The author is still free to do whatever else they want with their copyright.
You are right, Paul.

Publishing a work under a non-exclusive license does not invalidate the author's right to continue to use his work for other purposes, even commercially, and to issue derivatives of his work under other non-exclusive licenses.

So, if an older version of the manual was published under the GPL, anyone else can do with that particular instance of the manual whatever is within the limits of the rights granted by the GPL. This includes redistributing, reformatting, expanding, selling, sublicensing (under other licenses within the limits of what the GPL allows)... - even if the original author would not be happy with such derivative products. If the publication under the GPL was carried out legally, it cannot be revoked later on.

However, the original author can continue to work on his own original work as well, and he isn't bound to the terms of the GPL, of course. While I think it is very unfortunate for the project as a whole and also for the manual, Walter decided to publish his newer issues of the manual under a different license not allowing redistribution - and also hindering further contributions by others. So, if Walter is the only author of the manual and therefore the only one who can make such a decision, it is legally okay as well. It would be illegal if someone would redistribute, modify or put a "GPL sticker" on Walter's newer works just because an older version was issued under the GPL. Likewise, if the old GPLed version would be worked on by other authors, any attempt by Walter to incorporate even snippets of these improvements into his newer work would make it obligatory that any resulting works would be published under the GPL as well. If he'd want to continue to publish his stuff under more restrictive terms, in this thought model he'd first have to strip out any such stuff again, except for when those other contributors would dual-license their stuff for use in Walter's work.

This basic principle is recursive - or viral, if you want. If, for example, another author would contribute to the GPLed version, the resulting work must be published under the GPL (or a compatible license) as well. However, the other contributor could decide to use what was his personal contribution also in other contexts, and for as long as these derivative works of his own original work do not include anything from the GPLed contents, he would not be bound by the terms of the GPL.



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RE: Potential infringement of copyright - matthiaspaul - 12-10-2016 10:39 PM

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