GNU GPL and European law

David Mentré David.Mentre at
Tue Nov 28 18:26:54 UTC 2000

Jan Schaumann <jschauma at> writes:

> Is there an exact equivalent to the us-american "copyright" in each of
> the countries of Europe

Yes. In fact the "copyright" notion is international and is defined by
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) :
 "These legal aspects are specified in international conventions to
  which most countries are now party. On their accession, member States
  should have national legislation that are in line with the
  international standards."

But I advise you to have a look at WIPO web site on copyright:

> (side-note: what "europe" are we talking about?  Only the countries of
> the EU or the "physical" Europe?)?

Does it really matter? But if yes, I would say that the Europe in FSF
Europe is defined as "everything between America and Asia".

> If there is no exact equivalent, what is the closest thing and does it
> guarantee that the GPL holds and is enforcable?

No need to such a thing. Don't you think that all those world companies
like Vivendi-Universal have not a way to enforce their copyright in
_every_ country where they work in?

> If there is no equivalent, and things are in general rather different
> (law-wise), does the GPL hold? Would it need to be rephrased?

As stated earlier, they are at least two documents, respectively for
Germany and France, that states that GPL holds in those countries.

Best regards,
 David.Mentre at --
 Opinions expressed here are only mine.

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