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Re: Overview of copyright issues

From: Hans Aberg
Subject: Re: Overview of copyright issues
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2009 13:31:11 +0200

On 10 Sep 2009, at 11:20, Anthony W. Youngman wrote:

You can't simply go around and change licenses, unless you are the copyright

But you are the copyright owner of the LilyPond code.

Copyright belongs to the person who wrote the code (sometimes).

Unless explicitly signed over to somebody else.

There is no ONE owner of lilypond - it is spread amongst many.

Indeed I personally MIGHT own some copyright in lilypond! There's a good argument I do, it's a grey area!

In GNU projects, the normal thing is that contributors sign a paper which is sent in to GNU that they donate the code to GNU.

That's the paperwork that is needed: Every contributor, who has until now contributes as GPL v2only, needs to agree to change his/her contributions to GPL v2+. Unless you track down every substantial contributor (git helps in
that regard), LilyPond can't switch to GPL v2+.

Why? Is there a GNU requirement? - My cursory reading of v3 did not find anything like that. Where does this idea come from?

It's nothing to do with GNU. It's the law.

Sorry. I thought you meant code from other projects.

But the situation is still the same: even if you haven't individually donated the code (i.e. signed over the copyright) to the collective GNU project called LilyPond, you can change the conditions of each part as the individual copyright owners give permission. When you distribute it, you need to make sure that the conditions of each part is fulfilled.

So say somebody (to make an explicit example) wants to make tivoized distribution of LilyPond. They then need to replace the v3 parts with something else, but can keep the v2 parts.


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