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Re: Effect of transfer of copyright on free software licenses?


From: John Hasler
Subject: Re: Effect of transfer of copyright on free software licenses?
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2009 10:44:29 -0500
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.2 (gnu/linux)

Hyman Rosen writes:
> That's why we're discussing the transfer issue. It's possible that a
> transfer of copyright to a GPL-hostile entity could cause downstream
> distribution to be disallowed.

Well, there is promissory estoppel, of course.  I would also argue that the
downstream licenses are not new licenses granted at the time of acquisition
of copies but prospective licenses granted by the author to everyone who
ever might receive a copy.  I argue that I can grant you a license now to
my work which you may exercise any time in the future should you come into
possession of a copy of a copy.  Since I, the current copyright owner, am
granting you a license now, the possibility that someone else might acquire
the copyright between now and the time that you acquire a copy of the work
is irrelevant.
-- 
John Hasler 
address@hidden
Dancing Horse Hill
Elmwood, WI USA


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