kdelibs and the GPL

Michael Matz matz at kde.org
Wed Jun 19 17:39:55 BST 2002


On Wed, 19 Jun 2002, Thiago Macieira wrote:

> >>    I don't really care about those.  They're utilities.  As far as I'm
> >> concerned they can be public domain.
> >
> >Then you need to say so.  Without any comment nobody has a license to use
> >them at all.
> Being distributed (legally, i.e., not by theft) and not claiming a copyright
> means they're public domain. Anybody can do what he wishes.

No, public domain means nobody claims copyright.  Just by placing it
somewhere (even publically available) without saying explicitely what to
do, doesn't mean you give away the copyright (a copyright is something the
author posesses as soon as he has written the 'thing', and which must be
explicitely transfered).  Sure, copyright and licenses are not the same,
and by distributing it the author obviously has the intent to let people
use it.  But that could have been an accident.  Therefore there is no
"default" license, because nobody can guess at intent.  And without
license only the copyright holder can use the stuff he has the copyright
on.  A simple "Placed into the public domain by <author>" is enough to
change all that, because without copyright there are no licenses.


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