[svlug] [nearly OT] GPL, GNU, BSD licenses

kmself@ix.netcom.com kmself at ix.netcom.com
Wed May 17 00:23:55 PDT 2000


On Tue, May 16, 2000 at 11:45:47PM +0200, Ivan Sergio Borgonovo wrote:
> I would like to offer to a company a program but I would like to 
> be sure my credits won't be trown away.

If you're planning on doing something more complicated than slapping a
BSD or GPL license on the code, you should talk to a lawyer.  You may
also want to take this question to a legal discussion group.
news:misc.int-property or news:misc.legal.computing might be starting
points.

I note that you appear to have an Italian email address.  I am somewhat
familiar with US law, and understand some general international
copyright principles, but know nothing specific to Italian law.

> They will be free to modify the code and sell any project 
> developed on it.
> 
> If A) I want the SW developed on it to be Open Source what 
> should I do __concretely__?

Of the two licenses you mention, the GNU GPL will do this.  If you're
seeking to have the work and *all* derivatives be open sourced (or free
software), you'll want to employ a copyleft.  Others exist, with various
differences from the GPL.  Mozilla Public License v. 1.1 is another
reasonable license, though you should understand the differencess clearly.

If you choose to apply the GNU GPL or LGPL, there are specific forms
available from FSF's website showing you how to do this.

> If B) I'm just interested in credits and not in Open Source?

In the US, copyright law itself should protect you here -- attribution
right is covered in 17 USC 105(c) and (e), provided that you grant
license to the work under terms requiring attribution to yourself.

    http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/506.html

Author's rights are the basis of much European and EU copyright law,
particularly in France.

The usual free software license in this case is a BSD or MIT-like
license.  If your preference is for compatibility with the GNU GPL,
choose the more recent revised BSD license without the "advertising
clause", or the MIT license.

> You surely know that a not precise solution to a 
> copyright/license problem is a non solution so please try to be 
> very clear.

For specific legal advice, consult a lawyer.  Preferably one licensed to
practice law in Italy, or other relevant jurisdiction.

IANAL, this is not legal advice.

-- 
Karsten M. Self <kmself at ix.netcom.com>         http:/www.netcom.com/~kmself
    What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
    http://gestalt-system.sourceforge.net/
GPG fingerprint: F932 8B25 5FDD 2528 D595  DC61 3847 889F 55F2 B9B0
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