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  Re: Theo de Raadt on Relicensing BSD Code (mod 8/28)
by Theo de Raadt ( on Thu Sep 13 08:18:26 2007 (GMT)
  > Ok, but what is the point in the 'ath5k_hw.c' case? Why is this a violation?

Here goes:

> Even for small, insignificant changes, it must be possible for the creator of these changes to claim copyright.

That is absolutely false. Please do the minimum of research. Small, insignificant changes do not get you copyright. Only an original work gets you copyright -- the laws are very clear.

There is one side case specifically described in the laws called a derivative work (where you use parts of something else by another author) -- in that case you only qualify for copyright if your work is in the majority. There are other nasty cases with derived works; it is hard to get copyright on derived works. The Linux port of this code is not a derived work since Reyk's contribution (figuring out the entire chipset and writing a set of code which controls it) is much larger than the rather editorial process of adaptation to Linux.

> Every change to some code starts small. Should the author duplicate the BSD license with his/her/its name? What a waste of bandwidth.

Too bad. It is the law. If you don't like the law, don't use the author's original work.

> BTW, Theo also seems not to be really firm with international copyright law.

I have a way firmer grasp of international copyright law than you because I spent many hours poring over the Berne Convention, the relevant parts of TRIPS, and also the copyright laws of 3 countries.
You appear to not even have used wikipedia to read summaries of the laws. wikipedia does have links to these sources if you ever decide to take the time to actually learn (before you speak).

> For example, he completely forgets the fact that copyright does not need to be claimed in Germany. If you did something, you have the copyright to it.

No, if you "do something" you do not get copyright on it. It must be original. If it includes parts of other author's work, then the original parts must be greater. Otherwise there is no copyright on the material, and the changed parts belong TO THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR. There are various legal tests to determine if you can copyright it, and hence, gain the right to set your own terms.

> No claiming necessary.

You do not need to assert copyright. But an uncopyrightable derivation does not belong to the new person who is tweaking it. It falls under the existing author's copyright and his license. The new person making small changes does not qualify for copyright.

> Thus, if somebody changes somethings to a BSD licensed file, but does not put himself into the BSD clause, he actually gives no permissions about his changes to anyone. Thus, nobody is allowed to do anything with the resulting product without explicit concent from the author.

Wow, you really do have a very inventive mind. All it needs is a good dose of actual research time.
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