Subject: Re: GNU/GPL and Attribution
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 07 Oct 2003 10:00:41 -0700

Bobbi Anderson <> writes:

> We are quite comfortable with hosting companies taking this free code and
> offering it to the web designers/developers that are hosting with them.
> However, we would like those designers/developers to see an attribution to
> our company. 
> So my question is, will the GNU/GPL license cover this attribution need? If
> not, is there a copyleft license that will incorporate our needs?  If not,
> can we just add a paragraph about attribution on our website, or in the
> GNU/GPL license?  Or, will we need to write a whole new license?

It depends upon the type of attribution that you are after.

The GPL doesn't permit re-distributors to remove the copyright notice
that you place on the code.  It also requires an interactive program
to start up with a copyright notice.

However, if you are looking for something like ``any user of this work
must put a link from somewhere on their web site back to our home
page,'' then the GPL will not ensure that.  The GPL will permit
re-distributors to remove the link.  I don't think there is a good
standard solution for that issue.

If you can further clarify the type of attribution you are after, we
will be able to provide more help.

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