Public Domain

Alex Hudson home at
Thu May 3 12:05:40 UTC 2001

On Thu, May 03, 2001 at 12:36:59PM +0200, Werner Koch wrote:
> > Does this mean you can't just give up your copyright around here? Or
> Correct.  The authorship is an unalienable right like your own
> life.  There is no way to give it up, you can of course give away
> the right to use your work.

This isn't true as far as the UK is concerned. Authorship provides one (in
_most_ circumstances :) with first ownership of copyright. However, that
copyright can be sold/bought, as it is just a commodity - intellectual
property. The rights to the work are assigned by the copyright holder,
either first or subsequent, but ownership is always retained by the
copyright holder unless transferred.

I would be interested to know, if authorship is inalienable elsewhere, how
authors in those countries contribute to GNU projects where the copyright is
assigned to the FSF? It was my understanding that for certain projects you
must assign copyright for all non-trivial (10 line +?) patches to the FSF
for them to be accepted?

> IIRC, 70 years after the _death_ of the author.  Yes, then it is a
> common good and everyone can take it up.

"Artisitic" work in the UK is covered for 70 years after the death of the
last first copyright owner. Sound and broadcasts are covered for 50 years,
and stuff that is "published" (not sure what that means legally tho' :) is
covered for only 25. This only applies to works created in the UK, or
another state in the EEA.



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