Subject: Re: Who holds the copyright?
From: Brian Behlendorf <>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 1999 22:20:42 -0800 (PST)

On Wed, 17 Nov 1999, Russell Nelson wrote:
> [1] Anything, that is, with a small enough set of copyright holders to
> actually *agree* to change a license.

Even then, it's not clear.  E.g., when people submit a patch to Linus, are
they granting Linus the same rights to that code as if it were his own?
E.g., to relicense?  Keep in mind Linus has declared that he doesn't
consider a closed-source driver to be a violation of the GPL - a right he
can only grant if in essence everyone who has contributed patches to him
also agrees with this, especially since it's not even written down in the
kernel's own copyright notice.

I would hope that if it ever went to court, the courts would find that
when someone submits a patch to the copyright owners, absent any other
legal contract, there'd be an implied contract granting copyright.  But
who knows.