Subject: RE: legal issues under GPL
From: "Lawrence E. Rosen" <>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2003 10:39:24 -0800

 Wed, 5 Mar 2003 10:39:24 -0800
Be sure to distinguish the following:

   * copyright in the original work (you apparently own that)
   * copyright in the contributions (contributors own that)
   * copyright in derivative works you create (you own that)
   * copyright in collective works you create (you own that)

When contributors give you their code to incorporate into your
derivative and collective works, thank them and accept their
contributions if you want to -- unless the contributors restrict you in
unacceptable ways by the license terms on their contributions.  For
example, someone can send you a contribution but he restrict your use of
a patent; you can't incorporate such a contribution into a GPL-licensed
product (see GPL  7).  It is your duty, with your attorney's
assistance, to review the licenses of your contributors to make sure you
can use those contributions with your product.

/Larry Rosen

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Howard Katz [] 
> Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2003 9:45 AM
> To:
> Subject: legal issues under GPL
> I'm a nubie both to this list and to this topic. Please let 
> me know if there's a more appropriate place for this inquiry. Thanks.
> I provide a query-engine product under GPL. GPL appeals 
> because I can provide the codebase for free to those who 
> don't mind the GPL licensing restrictions, and I can also 
> dual-license the code to those who wish to keep their own 
> codebase proprietary.
> Accordingly, while I very much want to encourage people to 
> submit bug reports and patches, I also want to maintain sole 
> ownership of the product. I understand that copyright might 
> become complicated if I allow outside contributions, and I 
> want to make sure I understand all the legal issues of doing 
> so. Can anybody provide me pointers to further information on 
> this topic?
> TIA,
> Howard
> --
> license-discuss archive is at

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