GPL and Moral Rights
Wouter Vanden Hove
wouter.vanden.hove at pandora.be
Sat Aug 30 00:21:20 UTC 2003
Op vr 29-08-2003, om 22:34 schreef edA-qa mort-ora-y:
> On my recent quest to compare contracts, licenses, and the GPL, I
> stumbled across something that is disconcerting to me: the moral rights
> provided by the Berne Convention seem to impose limits on the freedom
> provided by the GPL.
The funny thing is that these objections are always made in relation to
the GPL, while other licenses like BSD/ MIT are far more problematic in
this area than the GPL.
> The GPL does not appear to make any mention of moral rights,
What license does?
There some Europan license like the Free Art License that do mention it.
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> according to the convention (and some law resources I checked) the moral
> rights stay with the author (even in the case of copyright assignment).
> As stated, the concerning bit is the author's ability "to object to any
> distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or other derogatory
> action in relation to, the said work, which would be prejudicial to his
> honor or reputation."
> What is to prevent any one contributor to a large GPL project from
> objecting on moral grounds and thereby halting any
> distribution/modification? Though our opinions to such objections might
> vary, I would tend to assume that software is open to such objections.
This raises interesting concerns. Could Tim Berners-Lee object to an
extend and embrace of W3-standards? Could the Kerkeros-team object to an
extend & embrace of Microsoft?
I like the way the GPL make people think. Now it just up to us to
broaden the issues.
Wouter Vanden Hove
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