I want to get credit for my work. I want people to know what I wrote. Can I still get credit if I use the GPL?
You can certainly get credit for the work. Part of releasing a program under the GPL is writing a copyright notice in your own name (assuming you are the copyright holder). The GPL requires all copies to carry an appropriate copyright notice.
How do I get a copyright on my program in order to release it under the GPL?
Under the Berne Convention, everything written is automatically copyrighted from whenever it is put in fixed form. So you don't have to do anything to "get" the copyright on what you write--as long as nobody else can claim to own your work.
However, registering the copyright in the US is a very good idea. It will give you more clout in dealing with an infringer in the US.
The case when someone else might possibly claim the copyright is if you are an employee or student; then the employer or the school might claim you did the job for them and that the copyright belongs to them. Whether they would have a valid claim would depend on circumstances such as the laws of the place where you live, and on your employment contract and what sort of work you do. It is best to consult a lawyer if there is any possible doubt.
If you think that the employer or school might have a claim, you can resolve the problem clearly by getting a copyright disclaimer signed by a suitably authorized officer of the company or school. (Your immediate boss or a professor is usually NOT authorized to sign such a disclaimer.)
I would like to release a program I wrote under the GNU GPL, but I would like to use the same code in non-free programs.
To release a non-free program is always ethically tainted, but legally there is no obstacle to your doing this. If you are the copyright holder for the code, you can release it under various different non-exclusive licenses at various times.
Why is the original BSD license incompatible with the GPL?
Because it imposes a specific requirement that is not in the GPL; namely, the requirement on advertisements of the program. The GPL states:
You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise
of the rights granted herein.
The advertising clause provides just such a further restriction, and thus is GPL-incompatible.
The revised BSD license does not have the advertising clause, which eliminates the problem.
Why does the FSF require that contributors to FSF-copyrighted programs assign copyright to the FSF? If I hold copyright on a GPL'ed program, should I do this, too? If so, how?
Our lawyers have told us that to be in the best position to enforce the GPL in court against violators, we should keep the copyright status of the program as simple as possible. We do this by asking each contributor to either assign the copyright on his contribution to the FSF, or disclaim copyright on it and thus put it in the public domain.
We also ask individual contributors to get copyright disclaimers from their employers (if any) so that we can be sure those employers won't claim to own the contributions.
Of course, if all the contributors put their code in the public domain, there is no copyright with which to enforce the GPL. So we encourage people to assign copyright on large code contributions, and only put small changes in the public domain.
If you want to make an effort to enforce the GPL on your program, it is probably a good idea for you to follow a similar policy. Please contact <[email protected]
> if you want more information.
Can I modify the GPL and make a modified license?
You can use the GPL terms (possibly modified) in another license provided that you call your license by another name and do not include the GPL preamble, and provided you modify the instructions-for-use at the end enough to make it clearly different in wording and not mention GNU (though the actual procedure you describe may be similar).
If you want to use our preamble in a modified license, please write to <[email protected]
> for permission. For this purpose we would want to check the actual license requirements to see if we approve of them.
Although we will not raise legal objections to your making a modified license in this way, we hope you will think twice and not do it. Such a modified license is almost certainly incompatible with the GNU GPL, and that incompatibility blocks useful combinations of modules. The mere proliferation of different free software licenses is a burden in and of itself.
[Ovu poruku je menjao bobzilla dana 28.06.2005. u 03:53 GMT+1]