[Fedora-legal-list] Forced copyright assignment

Matt McCutchen matt at mattmccutchen.net
Sat Jan 29 22:39:00 UTC 2011

On Sat, 2011-01-29 at 16:40 -0500, Tom Callaway wrote:
> On 01/28/2011 09:11 AM, Matt McCutchen wrote:
> > AIUI, purporting to release a work under the GPL does not oblige the
> > licensor to provide the source.
> I disagree, especially given that the licensor is claiming to be the
> sole copyright holder and they are distributing the work.
> GPLv2 ties the right to copy/distribute the Program with the requirement
> that the distributor either distribute it with the source code (3a) or a
> written offer for how to get the source code (3b) (there is a 3c here,
> but it is less relevant here).
> So, distributing (aka, "releasing a work") under the GPL absolutely
> obliges the licensor to provide the source to recipients of the Program
> (usually the binary).

With all due respect, I don't think so... Assuming the licensor is the
sole copyright holder as they say, they have the exclusive right of
distribution under copyright law.  They don't need a license to
distribute the work however they please.  They are not infringing anyone
else's rights, so no one would have any cause to sue them.


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