38

As far as I am aware, all FLOSS licenses that deal with copyright notices only require the preservation of notices that exist. Each author had the opportunity to add their own name to header when they made their contribution. If they chose not to do so, there is no existing notice from that author to preserve. There is never (as far as I know) any ...


9

French courts definitely don't have a problem with licences in foreign languages. Two French courts (a lower court and the court of appeal) have upheld the GPL, which is not written in French. (Yes, translations are available, but the FSF makes clear that they are for unofficial guidance only, and that only the English-language original has legal force.) ...


8

The second item in the WTFPL FAQ makes it fairly clear that the copyright notice in the license applies to the license itself, not the project using the license: These are the rules for the license; they mean Sam Hocevar wrote the license, and you can modify it if you want, you just cannot call your version the WTFPL. The first FAQ item provides ...


8

What is the creative work that the developers contributed to? Is every file an independent creative work for the purpose of copyright? Or does a software constituted from multiple files present a single and indivisible creative work? In general, consensus seems to be that software copyright can be considered in a very fine grained manner, down to individual ...


7

This is explained in the CC0 license itself under "The Problem": Few if any jurisdictions have a process for [contributing their works for public use before applicable copyright or database protection terms expire] easily and reliably. https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/ Basically, some jurisdictions don't recognize the ...


7

Theoretically, the license itself is not time-limited - once the code has been released under any of the MIT, BSD, GPL or Apache licenses, it is available under that license in perpetuity. If 200 years from now you wanted to distribute the source to version 5.0 of the Linux kernel via the GPL, you could. However, when the copyright expires (70 years after ...


6

In general, no: once you've published your idea (whether as open source or not), it becomes part of the "prior art" and is no longer eligible to be patented. Patents are for innovation, and almost by definition something can't be innovative if it's just taking someone else's idea.


5

That would be a resounding "no". The licensing of any data file protected by copyright is completely up to the copyright's author, and he or she may bot may not choose to license these files under some permissive license. The fact that the tool used to download it was licensed under some particular license is completely inconsequential.


5

The GPLv2 had some advice on the subject: You should also get your employer (if you work as a programmer) or your school, if any, to sign a "copyright disclaimer" for the program, if necessary. Here is a sample; alter the names: Yoyodyne, Inc., hereby disclaims all copyright interest in the program `Gnomovision' (which makes passes at compilers) ...


4

This is a bit of a grey area. In the most formal and literal sense, all the project has is a text document that happens to include terms for some license. There is no express statement that the copyright holders license the software under those terms. If no license was granted, then all rights are reserved. However, the inclusion of a top-level file called ...


4

The GPL, like any software license, restricts only those who distribute the software under the terms of that license. As the actual owner of copyright on the code, you do not require a license to legally distribute the code. Thus, you can freely choose whether to distribute code you own the copyright to under the terms of the GPL, distribute it under a ...


4

You intend to release a project under GPL. It incorporates some BSD-licenced code (you don't say which BSD licence, but let's assume it's 3-clause). You want to know if you can dual-licence this project under a proprietary licence. I believe that you can, yes. You will have some minor labelling obligations from the BSD licence which must apply to both ...


4

Do not invent your own copyright notices, just use the one displayed by the software in question. This would typically be what you refer to as the “build year”. When writing a copyright notice, the year should be the year of publication for this version – neither the current year, nor the year of writing. For some aspects of copyright, the year of first ...


4

Firstly, the mere fact that it's copyrighted isn't cause for alarm. Every work that qualifies for copyright protection acquires this protection at the moment of its creation, according to the Berne Convention, so anything that's contributed to a piece of free software is copyrighted. Therefore, the free software world has licences that make it clear which ...


4

All credit to you for not wanting to hoover up work done by your developer simply because you don't feel you're entitled to it. However, speaking as a contractor, I wouldn't be happy to start changing the contract mid-stream. You can unilaterally disclaim any rights interest in the CMS and work done thereof. There is a standard form of words that appears ...


4

It is not necessary to have contributors assign their copyright to you, as long as the contributions are licensed under sufficiently permissive terms that permit you to use them and distribute them under (or compatibly alongside) your project's existing license. The GNU project does this for at least two reasons: Only the copyright holder can litigate ...


3

When you include other people's code in your project, you are no longer just a licensor but also a licensee – you are now bound by the terms of that license. For the GPLv3, this means for example: that you cannot unilaterally change the project license in particular, dual-licensing is no longer possible you cannot add additional terms under GPLv3 section 7 ...


3

You can absolutely have multiple names in a copyright notice, if the licensed work has multiple authors. In some jurisdictions there's also the concept of “joint authorship” that might apply here. You hold copyright automatically by authoring something. It is unnecessary (and quite unusual) to create a legal entity to hold the copyright. Some projects with ...


3

The assets that you re-created can be protected under multiple different intellectual property protections. Copyright protection is just one of them, but the assets can also be part of a registered trademark, industrial design right or "trade dress". If you accidentally re-created the assets from hill climb, as in you can prove that you didn't know about ...


3

Using a trademark to refer to that brand itself is generally fine. Using a trademark as part of your name is not. Your project shouldn't mislead users in thinking that your plugin would belong to or be part of the real brand, or would otherwise be official. For example, this would be fine and your name can't be confused with the trademark: Flooblargh – a ...


3

Only a legal entity can hold a copyright. However, it is worth noting that your copyright notice is not legally significant, since it has virtually no legal effect. Generally speaking, in an overwhelming majority of nations (i.e., all that have signed the Berne Convention), there is no need to include a copyright notice at all, because copyright is secured ...


3

There are several levels of thing going wrong here. Firstly, as Brandin notes above, with a few odd exceptions the licence of a program does not affect the licensing status of the output; the status of the output is much more usually a function of the licence on the program's inputs. Secondly, if this is really a GPL-licensed plugin, then even if the ...


3

With respect to my colleague, I disagree with a lot of his answer. The core analysis I think is correct, not least because it comes straight from the GPL FAQ: if the plugin is tightly coupled to the main body of code, the whole (application and plugin) is a single work, which is a derivative of (amongst other things) the plugin; if not, then not. Note that ...


3

Regarding the copyright, copyright automatically goes to the person (or organization) that wrote the code. You will own the copyright of all the code you write (unless you have a contract that says otherwise), but you will not own the copyrights on code written by others. And it doesn't matter if those others contributed directly to your project or if they ...


3

There are two aspects to this question. First, there is the effect of using a third-party tool on copyrights. The nice thing is that the copyright license of tools don't affect the possible copyright licenses of the output. This also means, for example, that Microsoft has no say in how you license the documents you write with MS Word. Secondly, there is ...


2

If you receive a project from someone under an open-source license (like the GPL or MIT), then that license gives you the right to develop the project further and to add features to it that you think are useful. Which feature you can add is completely independent of the features that the original author might be offering as an extended version of the ...


2

Direct vs. indirect dependency is irrelevant: you must comply with the licenses of all software that you distribute. Since Docker containers can include a surprising amount of software, this means distributing pre-built Docker images in proper compliance with all licenses can be rather difficult. Docker images have the additional oddity that they can be ...


2

Listing copyright for each individual may imply that these holders hold copyright over all of the code, whereas really they should only hold copyright over the portions they have created. I would recommend instead using the lines Portions Copyright (c) 2016-2019 Håvard Fossli Portions Copyright (c) 2016 John Snow And then use a source control system to ...


2

Copyright Copyright is personal property. It can be bought and sold like any other property – a house, a car, a pen. The difference with copyright and other personal property is that it’s intangible. Houses (and the land they are on) are a type of property named “real property”. Basically, real property is the land. The house is “attached” to the ...


2

Legal? Who knows? If you work for a place that has an open-source compliance lawyer, ask them. Still: open source licenses often suggest what to do with existing copyright notices. For example, the MIT license says, emphasis mine. Copyright year copyright holder Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this ...


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