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Court Confirms GPL Valid in Germany
Friday, July 23 2004 @ 03:55 PM EDT

I'm getting positively light-headed from so much good news, and I surely hope you are sitting down if you have any inclination toward heart flutters, because a court in Germany has just confirmed the earlier preliminary injunction in the netfilter/iptables case -- the GPL is valid in Germany. Here is a reader's translation of a bit of the Heise story:

"From the reasons of the ruling which as of this Friday are available in written form it becomes clear that the judges recognize the GPL as legally effective in general: 'The court shares the view that under no circumstances the GPL can be regarded as renouncing the copyright or legal positions based on the copyright.' Plaintiff, a GPL developer, is entitled to legally enforce his copyrights on the source code.

"Attorney Till Jaeger who represented the OSS project before the court in an interview with Heise On-Line rejoicingly stated: 'This is probably the first ruling on earth confirming the effectiveness and enforceability of the GPL, and it makes the OSS community well-fortified.' Additionally, the court made clear that nobody needs to worry as long as they adhere to the rules of the GPL."

Sherlock translates it that the GPL is "militaryful". That sounds good. Golem has the further info that Sitecom's argument that the GPL didn't have weight because it was in English and only unofficially in German failed. Here's what the court ruled on that:

"It is not a problem that the GPL is present only in English and a German translation applies only unofficially."

I have long suspected that MS and SCO thought Germany had a soft legal underbelly with respects to the GPL and that is why they had Mr. Blepp concentrate efforts there, so this is very good news indeed, not only now for long-term.

Here is the order in German. And just in case, here is the German for the Heise snip:

"Aus der seit dem heutigen Freitag vorliegenden schriftlichen Urteilsbegründung wird deutlich, dass die Richter die GPL grundsätzlich als rechtswirksam anerkennen. Wörtlich heißt es: 'Die Kammer teilt die Auffassung, dass in den Bedingungen der GPL keinesfalls ein Verzicht auf Urheberrechte und urheberrechtliche Rechtspositionen gesehen werden kann.' Der klagende GPL-Entwickler sei legitimiert, die Urheberrechte an dem Sourcecode geltend zu machen.

"'Damit ist endgültig klar, dass das GPL-Modell auch nach deutschen Recht funktioniert"', frohlockte Rechtsanwalt Till Jaeger, der das Projekt netfilter/iptables vertritt, im Gespräch mit heise online. Nach diesem 'wohl weltweit ersten Urteil zur Wirksamkeit und Durchsetzbarkeit der GPL' sei sichergestellt, dass die Open-Source-Gemeinde wehrhaft ist. Umgekehrt habe das Gericht klar gemacht, dass niemand etwas zu befürchten habe, solange er sich an die GPL-Regeln halte.'"

Christoph has done the following translation for us from the Order:

From page 14 (PDF):

[opinion of the court]

A.1.
First of all, the chamber has no objections, that the common terms of business according to § 304, p. 2 Civil Code have been validly included in a possible contract between plaintiff and defendant. The website points to these terms (attachment AS 2). Furthermore, the terms are publicly available. Even if the German translation may not be official, there are no objections, because English is the common language in computer industry. This is at least the case, if it's about a contract between the creators and a commercial software company.

[Entscheidungsgründe:]

A.1.
Die Kammer hat zunächst keinerlei Bedenken, dass die Allgemeinen Geschäftsbedingungen nach § 304 Abs. 2 BGB wirksam in ein mögliches Vertragsverhältnis zwischen der Verfügungsbeklagten und dem Verfügungskläger einbezogen worden sind. Auf der Internetseite ist auf die Bedingungen hingewiesen (Anlage AS 2). Die Bedingungen sind weiterhin allgemein zugänglich. Auch wenn die deutsche Übersetzung nicht offiziell sein mag, bestehen angesichts des Umstandes, dass Englisch in der Computerindustrie die gängige Fachsprache ist, keinerlei Bedenken, weil die offiziellen Bedingungen nur in englischer Sprache vorliegen. Dies gilt zumindest, wenn ein Vertragsverhältnis zwischen den Urhebern und einer gewerblichen Softwarefirma in Rede steht.


  


Court Confirms GPL Valid in Germany | 393 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
OT, URLs here, please...
Authored by: jbeadle on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 04:12 PM EDT
Trolls and other jokes, too...

-jb

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections, if you got 'em
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 04:13 PM EDT
--Bill P

[ Reply to This | # ]

Court Confirms GPL Valid in Germany
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 04:19 PM EDT
Could someone try to get a translation (even a rough one)
of the order ? I happen to speak French and Italian, but
not German, and I'm really curious to see what the judge's
opinion was wrt the GPL and its consequences...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Germans
Authored by: rsteinmetz70112 on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 04:23 PM EDT
Germans tend to be quite literal so its not surprising that a German court read
the GPL and take the position that it means what is says and unless someone can
find a clear conflict with a law somewhere it's perfectly valid.

I think most US courts would find the same thing if given the chance.

All of the attacks on the GPL I have read appeal to some higher law for
invalidating it. Most of the arguments somehow resolve to;

"It's wrong to give things away with strings attached, but you can sell
them with strings attached."

---
Rsteinmetz

"I could be wrong now, but I don't think so."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Remain vigilant
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 04:23 PM EDT
Good news, of course. But courts only decide existing laws. Parliaments,
Congresses and Bundestags can create new law. Keep the guards posted.

[ Reply to This | # ]

the loosing party pays it _all_... (in germany)
Authored by: phranks on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 04:53 PM EDT
from the pdf:
"Der Verfügungsbeklagte trägt auch die weitern Kosten des
Rechsstreits"
translates (approx.) to:
"The defendant bears also any further expenses of the
legal proceedings"

rotfl.

-frank

[ Reply to This | # ]

Other courts will follow?
Authored by: John M. Horn on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 04:56 PM EDT

Hopefully other courts will follow suit in due course. With PJ and team
assisting the legal system along the way, I think it is unlikely there will be
any long standing rulings against the GPL and copyleft. But as you say, we must
be vigilant...

John Horn

[ Reply to This | # ]

Court Confirms GPL Valid in Germany
Authored by: Greebo on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 04:59 PM EDT
This is too much :)

Baystar turn on SCO so SCO are now fighting on how many legal fronts?

SCO v IBM
Redhat v SCO
SCO v DC
SCO v AZ
Baystar v SCO

I've missed one..... oh yes,

SCO v Novell

6 Fronts! Hahahahahaahahahahahaahahahahaahah!!! oh, my poor aching ribs! rotflmao!!!!

I'm off for beer. This has just made my weekend!

PJ rocks!

Greebo

---
-----------------------------------------
Recent Linux Convert and Scared Cat Owner

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why "copyleft" does not serve GPL advocates
Authored by: Boundless on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 05:06 PM EDT
"The court shares the view that under no
circumstances the GPL can be regarded as
renouncing the copyright or legal positions
based on the copyright."

One might ask: to what question is this an answer?
Why did the court even need to consider this
"renouncing" issue?

There is a widespread misconception that the
GPL is anti-copyright, and the use of the term
"copyleft" reinforces that perception. I daresay
the absent "copyleft", we might not have seen
the otherwise laughable efforts to brand the GPL
as unconstitutional.

The GPL is a license, basically just an agreement,
and one within the framework of copyright.
Agreement is something everyone can agree with :-)

There are enough IP raiders challenging the GPL
based on what it actually is. We don't need any
challenging on the basis of misinterpreted
positioning labels.

Food for thought, copylefters.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Court Confirms GPL Valid in Germany
Authored by: eggplant37 on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 05:25 PM EDT
If I wanted to scare the wife, I'd be jumping up and down for joy right now.
However, I'll make it a point to quietly have another celebratory beer.

Oh, and...

All Your Base Are Belong To Us. You are on the way to destruction.

[ Reply to This | # ]

3 cheers for Germany !!!
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 05:43 PM EDT
The first country to tell SCUMX to STFU !
The first country to declare the GPL valid !

Hip, hip, hooray!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Can this be used by any EU country?
Authored by: Franki on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 06:17 PM EDT
Is this a precident that will carry to all EU nations?
I ask because part of what the EU seem to be trying to do, is to simplify the
legal system so that all member countries are in the same boat.

If so, this this is indeed cause for celebration, and its a celebration that
I'll bet Microsoft won't be joining in on. :-)

regards

Franki

---
Is M$ behind Linux attacks?
http://htmlfixit.com/index.php?p=86

[ Reply to This | # ]

I'm confused
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 07:30 PM EDT
I'm confused. The German court said the GPL
is valid under contract law. I thought the
troll gumout said the GPL was a contract and
that's the reason it was invalid. Is the GPL a
contract or a license?

Are we celebrating too soon?

Confused

[ Reply to This | # ]

Court Confirms GPL Valid in Germany
Authored by: r_faith on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 08:08 PM EDT
pages 3-7 somehow translated... English or german are not ma native languages,
so don't expect it to be perfect:

The "Final judgement" (the correct word is??):

the temporary injunction of the Munich I district court (2.4.2004) is
confirmed.

the defendant bears the expenses of the lawsuit.

Facts of the case:
the plaintiff aplies for/claims a restrictive injunction against the defendant
in connection with the distibution of so called Open Source Software.

The claimant/plaintiff is a member of the "netfilter/iptables" Open
Sorce Project and is as a so called "Maintainer" the leading
software developer.

The aim of the project, founded in the middle of 1999 by the Australian Paul
'Rusty' Russel, was to replace the old Linux-Firewall (ipchains) with a modern,
futuristic? and flexible architecture.

The plaintiff is since 2001 the Maintainer of the four-man Coretam, which
maintains the "www.netfilter.org" Internet-Platform (website?), makes
decisions about the software architecture, integrates the
works/deveopments(results) of others and distributes the software package.

The software "netfilter/iptables" consists of two parts. The main
"Engine", which processes the network packets in the kernel of the
Linux operating system, and the configuration program, that enables the
administrator to set the security policies (so called Packetfilter-rules). That
makes the "netfilter/iptables" software an integral part of the
widespread and commercialy/economicaly important operating system GNU/Linux,
know under the name "Linux". Becouse of the complex tasks the software
"netfileter/iptables" allready has a large volume, 22755 lines of code
in the Linux kernel and 32244 lines of code in the configuration
program/application.

The sourcecode of "netfileter/iptables" is made available for download
on www.netfilter.org to team members and third parties for further development.

The software "netfileter/iptables" is - which is being pointed out on
the website - a Free Software, which can be used by anybody under the terms of
the GNU General Public Licence (GPL).

Some of the conditions are:
points 1, 2, 3, 4 of the GPL

The defendant is the german subsidiary of the company "*** Europe" in
the Netherlands.

The company group ???? sells/distributes network products like firewite
adapters, cables, bluetooth, USB adapters and WLAN routers, on the www.???.com
website.

When viewed form Germany, the webpage is shown in the german language. Under the
menu item "About ???", only the defendant's address is specified.

The Wireless Network Broadband Router 100g+ (WL-122) is marketed, among others,
on the website, and the contained Firmware is available for download. A german
manual is also available for download. The downloadable
"netfileter/iptables" software is in object-code, and also software
developed by defendant: "PPTP helper for connection tracking" and
"IRC helper for connection tracking and NAT".

At least until 18.5.2004 there was no indication on the website that the
firmware also contains software made available under the GNU GPL, and no
indication/link to the GPL licence or the source code of the
"netfileter/iptables" software.

The writing of 18. march 2004 the plaintiff reminded the defendant about the
GPL-violation.

After another written discussion between plaintiff and defendant (parent
company) in which the defendant denied/rejected the demanded _declaration of
agreement to cease and desist_ (=Unterlassungserklärung, is there a better word
in english for that?), the plaintiff filed a motion for a temporary injunction.


2.4.2004 the court ruled the following temporary injunction:

1. the defendant may not distribute and/or copy and/or make publicaly available
the "netfilter/iptables" software without indicatin/refering to the
licencing under the GPL, v2, and suplying the GPL licence text and making the
source code available free of licence fees at the same time.

2. The defendant bears also the expenses of the
legal proceedings

3. the costs amount to 100.000 EURO

The defendant appealed with a writing on 20.4.2004 against the temporary
injunction.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Court Confirms GPL Valid in Germany
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 08:21 PM EDT
Yes PJ, this is great news.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: Interesting synopsis of recent INDUCE testimony
Authored by: seeRpea on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 09:17 PM EDT
http://www.corante.com/importance/archives/005218.php

If you don't know too much about INDUCE, well , lets just say
if the backers get there way you must throw out your VCR.

[ Reply to This | # ]

any chance of a complete english translation
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 09:27 PM EDT
I know I'm not the only one hoping for a complete english
translation of this document. If that could happen I (and
probably many others) would be very pleased indeed...

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT: What makes Darl think he can sign agreements on behalf of Canopy???
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 09:51 PM EDT
What makes Darl think he can sign agreements on behalf of Canopy???

I refer to this earlier post Time to analyze the documents - definition of closing, etc

Contained therein is the STOCK REPURCHASE AGREEMENT between SCO and Canopy:
This STOCK REPURCHASE AGREEMENT (the “Agreement”) is made as of May 31, 2004 by and among The SCO Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation (the “Company”), and BayStar Capital II, L.P. (“BayStar”).


Scroll down to section 4(i), and you'll see an interesting clause, emphasis added:
(i) Nondisparagement. BayStar agrees not to disparage or defame the Company, its products, services, business operations, litigation, practices and strategy, stockholders, directors, executive officers, employees, management or agents. The Company agrees not to disparage or defame BayStar or its partners, managers, executive officers, agents or business operations, practices and strategy; provided, however, BayStar’s obligation not to disparage or defame the Company as set forth above shall be limited to the actions or comments of BayStar’s general partners, the members of BayStar’s general partners and BayStar’s managers, executive officers, attorneys, advisors, consultants and representatives, and the Company’s obligation not to disparage or defame BayStar as set forth above shall be limited to the actions or comments of the Company’s executive officers, directors, attorneys, advisors, consultants, representatives and The Canopy Group, Inc.


Next scroll all the way down, and see whose's signed it:
THE SCO GROUP, INC.

By: /s/ Darl C. McBride
Name: Darl C. McBride
Title: CEO

BAYSTAR CAPITAL II, L.P.

By: /s/ Larry Goldfarb
Name: Larry Goldfarb
Title: Managing Partner

No sign of any signature by Yarro or anybody else on behalf of Canopy.

So the questions are:

(i) Why does Darl think he can sign agreements on behalf of Canopy?

(ii) Why does Darl think that SCO's obligations ("the Company’s obligation") includes "the actions or comments of" a supposedly unrelated company which is just stockholder, namely "The Canopy Group, Inc."

Quatermass
IANAL IMHO etc.

[ Reply to This | # ]

translated: 7-10
Authored by: r_faith on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 09:54 PM EDT
some more pages, some more mistakes...

The plaintiff claims:

The temporary injunction is to be confirmed.

The right for an injunction arises from para. 97 section 1 in connection with
para. 69c nr. 1-4 of Copyright Law.

The defendant violated the copyrights of the the plaintiff by providing the
"netfilter/iptables" software and promoting/advertising the
sale/distribution without complying with the GPL licence.

The aforementioned actions would be allowed only if the defendant would have an
appropriate licence agreement. Becouse the plaintiff licenses the software
"netfilter/iptables" exclusively under the GPL, every
non-GPL-conforming use is forbidden. Nr. 4 of the GPL explicitly states that a
licence violation automatically results in a licence termination. With that the
GPL (according to para. 158 sec. 2 Copyright Law) provides only for a
"auflösend bedingte" copyright grant.

Becouse the defendant used the software contrary to the GPL terms, in particular
by not refering to the GPL and not making the source code available, he
infringed the plaintiff's copyrights.

This is valid independently of whether the licence terms of the GPL were
effectively agreed upon or not by the the parties. Becouse if the GPL were not
greed upon by he parties, the defendant would be anyhow missing the required
rights of use (Nutzungsrecht), to be able to copy, distribute and make publicaly
available the "netfilter/iptables" software.

The distribution without reference to the GPL and without making available the
source code infringed the plaintiff also in his
"Urheberpersönlichkeitsrechten" personal copyright. para. 13
CopyrightLaw in connection with para. 69a sect. 4 CopyrightLaw.

The defendant is also "passivlegitimiert" passively/unfavourably
legitimized. This arises from their internet presence. Independant of the
defendants real profession/field of activity, he also infringed on plaintiff's
copyrights. By appropriating the software of the plaintiff on the www.????.com
website he is also liable for the infringment. The defendant is mentioned my
name on the website.

A temporary safeguarding of plaintiff's rights in a quick proceeding is
necesary. For the realization of plaintiff's claims he can not wait for the main
proceeding "hauptverfahren". Further infringements would irrecoverably
damage plaintiffs interests, especially in view of the
acceptance/acknowledgement of the copyrights. Hence the copyright interests of
the plaintiff are threatened with immediate/direct adverse effects, a decision
in the main proceeding would therefore be too late.

[ Reply to This | # ]

This is great news until
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 09:54 PM EDT
the proprietary cartel succeed in changing the law through treaties, same as the entertainment cartel have changed European law on copyrights/trademarks through treaties, as they have changed state laws, and have attached amendments to other bills, when a direct federal assault has temporarily foundered, and as the states have succeeded in getting their tax and spend paws onto the voip bill going through Congress now.

For the proprietary software cartel, and the entertainment cartel, any law standing in their way of total domination is simply a law that hasn't been fixed by them yet. The Sony Betamax decision is another example.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Why it's stupid to challenge the GPL
Authored by: pajamian on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 09:59 PM EDT
The biggest problem with challenging the GPL is that you might win. If that
sounds strange to you, consider the following hypothetical courtroom scenario:

This court finds the the GPL is invalid according that section 4 does not comply
with law. As such, the defendant has no licensed right to distribute the
software and is ordered to pay monetary damages to the plaintiff. Defendant is
also ordered to cease distribution of software pending a new license agreement
with the plaintiff.

IE, if you challenge the GPL and win, you still loose. This is why there have
been no rulings on it until this point. Nobody else has been stupid enough to
challenge it.


---
Windows is a bonfire, Linux is the sun. Linux only looks smaller if you lack
perspective.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I just had to add my voice
Authored by: a_dreamer on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 10:29 PM EDT
This has been a good day.
This has been a good week.

Thanks again, PJ.

Craig

[ Reply to This | # ]

That's how one court interprets the GPL
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 10:47 PM EDT
However before one decides to move some software- related business to Germany
pls. be advised that the current government represented by chancellor Schroeder,
the secretary of commerce Clement and the secretary of justice Zypries strongly
support the idea of software patents (behind the scenes of cause). In fact the
German pro software patents vote which has not been backed up by the Chancellors
party SPD has had a very bad impact on the legislative process.

It is very hard for independent software houses who would suffer the most from
software patents to get in touch with Mr. Clement, who has been a Chief Editor
of a Sun-like daily newspaper before making politics his major source of income.
However when Micro$oft opened an European Software Lab in Aachen employing 16
(Rocket?-) Scientists, two top representatives of the chancellors party SPD had
been part of the opening show with their public speeches.

I hate to say it, however if you are a high tech company, you should wait a
little as the current government is well ... somehow ... challenged when it
comes to high tech company support - if you happen not to be GE, IBM, HP,SAP or
M$ of cause.

If some other company in Germany is challenging the GPL at some other court that
court might decide differently. As long as there has been no ruling by some
higher courts there is always a risk that some other court might decide
differently. But the current decision can be interpreted as a minor victory at
least.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Court Confirms GPL Valid in Germany
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, July 23 2004 @ 10:55 PM EDT
Say folks... As it says somewhere in the Bible, something like this...
"Let not he who girdeth his armor speak as one who taketh it off." I
am sure the Koran and Torah have equivilent warnings.

Modernised, it translates to "The fat lady ain't sung yet!"

I worry that SCO is a red herring and we are cheering in the grandstands as they
get whupped. Meanwhile the real enemies are working quietly and stealthly and
assured that our whole attention is on the circus while they get set to pull the
rug out from under all of us.

Nobody at nowhere dot com.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Court Confirms GPL Valid in Germany
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 24 2004 @ 12:38 AM EDT
Just some comments on how law is working in germany and whats the deal with this
ruling. I'm not a laywer however, so I may get things a bit wrong.

First of all, that ruling is about a preliminary injunction. You can get one
really fast. The only thing one usually have to do is to convince the court that

a) one have a claim and
b) there will be greater damages if the defendant is allowed to continue what he
is doing wrong (in the opinion of the plaintif however)

A preliminary injunction then would be granted without any hearing.

That what happend first in this case and also in the "SCO shut up"
ruling earlier this year.

And quick means really quick. The case was filed on 1. April this year and the
PI was granted whithin 24 hours on 2. April,

The defendant than can complain about the PI, and that is what this ruling is
about. The defendant has to convince the court to withdraw the PI. Usually there
is a hearing about that.In this case, Harald won the hearing and the PI was
confirmed.

The whole procedure up to this point goes realy fast. Harald's laywer contacted
the defendant on March 18. and the ruling is from May 19. - just two month
later.

The defendant now could go further and bring the case to trial in court. This
however would take much longer than what happend until now.

I think, if the SCO vs. IBM case was filed in germany, the first thing SCO would
have done was to get a PI to forbid IBM to ship AIX ...

Intrestingly, SCO never chalenged the PI that forbid them to claim there was SCO
IP in Linux in germany. IF they had something at hand to convince the court to
withdraw the PI, they could have get rid of it whithin no time. They never even
tried.

Ciao
Andi

[ Reply to This | # ]

Exactly as Mr. Moglen Described
Authored by: Mark Levitt on Saturday, July 24 2004 @ 01:44 AM EDT
From reading the rough translations of the court ruling being posted, it seems
the German court ruled using exactly the way Mr. Moglen at the Harvard lecture
described a GPL court case would go.

That is, either you have a license to distribute it with certain conditions, or
you are infringing the author's copyright.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sitecom has released the source code under GPL
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 24 2004 @ 02:36 AM EDT
The source code is available from

http://www.sitecom.com

click: Support->Drivers and Manuals
select product group: Wireless networking
select product: WL-122
click: search

and you see:

WL-122 Wireless Broadband router 100g+
Firmware Source code GPL
Note that these downloads are completely unnecessary unless
you plan to do programming to alter the code.

The download button is linked to "wl-122.htm" which contains
the real link to the source code.


Congratulations to the netfilter team for this victory.

Gerard

[ Reply to This | # ]

english translation --> link
Authored by: xtz on Saturday, July 24 2004 @ 05:20 AM EDT
http://www.jbb.de/html/?page=news&id=32
tells us: ... within a few days an english translation will be available
here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Court Confirms GPL Valid in Germany
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 24 2004 @ 04:49 PM EDT
Every published author I know about (including my mother) has retained the copyright to their work. Pick up any book you have and check - every one will say that it is copyrighted by the author, not the publisher.

This is easily refuted. Let me see, how about "Learning Python", by Mark Lutz & David Ascher. Copyright O'Reilly and Associates. Technical books are often works for hire.

Perhaps you were thinking only of fiction. How about the Hugo winning "The Big Time", by Fritz Leiber? Copyright 1961 by Ace Books. Also listed are a 1958 copyright for the magazine version by Galaxy Publishing, a 1962 copyright by Fritz Lieber for the Introduction, and a 1976 copyright by G. K. Hall & Co. for the Afterword. Seems like fiction is done for hire, too.

The publishing industry has changed over the years. It was common for publishers to contract with authors to write a work for hire, with the publisher owning the copyright. Robert A. Heinlein broke the stranglehold in the SF world when his mass market success gave him enough power to negotiate contracts that left him as the copyright holder. Now, that's fairly common for mass market works. But not always, as works for hire continue to be published.

If it were not for the work for hire doctrine, there would be no need for any moral rights concept. Moral rights are those that remain with the creator of the work in spite of contractual work for hire copyright provisions.

As I understand it, the purpose of moral rights is to give the principle creator of a work some control over the artistic integrety of the work. In other words, to give him control over modification. One of the purposes of the GPL is to allow modification. Superficially, that looks like a conflict; one limits modification, the other endorses it. But moral rights do not prohibit modification, they put it under control of the author. Modification cannot be done without his permission. But it seems to me that the GPL very clearly is a statement of the author's intent that he does give permission for modification.

The idea that author's rights can be used to prevent the author from granting permissions to others stands the very concept of author's rights on its head. It's absurd. The thought that he can't transfer the power to make that decision to someone else may have merit, but if he has the power to say no to modifications, then he surely has the power to say yes.

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Court Confirms GPL Valid in Germany
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, July 24 2004 @ 05:53 PM EDT
Actually, if the GPL is invalid due to a bad translation then the fallback is
the original copyright law. I guess Germany honours that as well. So, if there
is no GPL, the crime is even bigger because they are not allowed to distribute
any binary then.

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Court Confirms GPL Valid in Germany
Authored by: math geezer on Saturday, July 24 2004 @ 07:37 PM EDT

Gregory Fossedale is back at it Bottom Line: Hard buy, Soft Sell with a spew against F/LOSS and a jab at IBM- "...bet on IBM to settle, if it's smart, and lose a 10-figure judgement, if it goes to a jury."

He also reccomends that people buy SCOG stock! Hahahaha!

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A slight correction/suggestion
Authored by: fLameDogg on Saturday, July 24 2004 @ 11:52 PM EDT
"...not only now for long-term"

perhaps should be "not only for now but for the long-term"


Great story, great news, great couple of days. Thanks, PJ.

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Court Confirms GPL Valid in Germany
Authored by: Erin on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 02:59 AM EDT
OT: Developer Declaration of Independence
On Slashdot, _Michael_ has posted an item about the Developer Declaration of
Independence, published by The Open Group and IBM. Has anyone here at Groklaw
heard anything about this?

---
e. williams

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PJ: It's censorship
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, July 25 2004 @ 10:15 AM EDT
The U.S. Supreme Court is the final word on U.S. law.
I have never seen anyone, including P.J. refute this
argument. Some people just post childish put-downs.

http://www.crynwr.com/cgi-bin/ezmlm-cgi?3:msp:8198:amdjbkbnnegpiecdahii

When someone (smarter than me) shows proof then maybe I
will change my mind. Untill then the guy is right. The people
at Groklaw (P.J. too) can't or won't look at both sides of an
argument it seems to me.

Why can't Groklaw be unbiased like NewsForge ?

http://trends.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=04/07/20/1735218

The childish attacks by its posters is a form of censorship
at Groklaw . It's no wonder so many people post anonymous.

People in our Linux Users Group are turned away from
Groklaw because you can't criticize anything or you become
part of the "enemy", a "troll".


Starting To See The Light.

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