From: Jonathan Wakely (cow_at_[hidden])
Date: 2004-10-13 07:35:47
On Wed, Oct 13, 2004 at 11:33:05AM +0100, Ben Hutchings wrote:
> Now that I think about it, I seem to remember that contributions to GCC
> (of which libstdc++ is part) must have their copyright assigned to the
> FSF. If this is correct, it would not be sufficient for copyright
> holders to give permission for relicencing. Can you check this, Jonathan?
I have a copyright assignment on file with the FSF, and all my
contributions are therefore copyright FSF. I don't think this applies to
code from elsewhere which is incorporated, for instance most of the STL
files say "Copyright HP", "Copyright SGI" and "Copyright FSF". The Boost
concept checks still contain a copyright statement from Jeremy Siek.
For an FSF-copyrighted package, if you have followed the procedures to
obtain legal papers, each file should have just one copyright holder:
the Free Software Foundation, Inc. You should edit the file's
copyright notice to list that name and only that name.
But if contributors are not all assigning their copyrights to a single
copyright holder, it can easily happen that one file has several
copyright holders. Each contributor of nontrivial amounts is a
[this seems to be the situation for Boost/SGI/HP code used in GCC - jon]
In that case, you should always include a copyright notice in the name
of main copyright holder of the file. You can also include copyright
notices for other copyright holders as well, and this is a good idea
for those who have contributed a large amount and for those who
specifically ask for notices in their names. But you don't have to
include a notice for everyone who contributed to the file, and that
would be rather inconvenient.
The copyright on the original code is still held by the original
authors, the copyright on the new parts of a derived work is held by the
FSF. I will be sure to check this - I have no intention of removing any
of the smart ptr authors rights. I don't think anyone _could_ remove
their rights except the authors themselves.
As I understand it (which is not in *any* way authoritative) if the
authors give permission for me to use the code under the GPL (which I
think amounts to dual-licensing it to me as Boost and GPL?) then I am
free to modify their original code, still under the GPL. The modified
version then has my copyright (which I assign to the FSF) _and_ the
original authors copyright statements on.
Alexander, whatever your views on whether the GPL can be upheld, you
seem to be pretty knowledgable on copyright issues, have I got it even
Another possibly relevant part is here:
The files from Boost could be used that way - but if it came to that
I'd rewrite them (as I already have with parts, since there's no need to
support compilers other than GCC in libstdc++).
Ben, thanks for pointing out the GPL exception that libstdc++ uses. It
was a stupid omission by me that slipped my mind. I meant to reply
yesterday to say thanks but haven't sent the mail yet.
I'll mail the FSF now and ask for clarification on this anyway.
-- I would like to suggest that you not use speed, and here's why: it is going to mess up your heart, mess up your liver, your kidneys, rot out your mind. In general this drug will make you just like your mother and father. - Frank Zappa
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