[linux-elitists] Preemption of the GPL
Thu Aug 21 13:35:47 PDT 2003
For those who are interested, here's the latest from Mark Heise:
Section 301 of the Copyright Act says the Copyright Act pre-empts
any claims that are governed regarding use, distribution and
copying. We believe that although the GPL is being tossed into the
fray, it is pre-empted by federal copyright law.
Now, this is the Internet age, and we no longer need a lawyer to tell us
what in the law...section 301 can be found at:
It reads (in part):
301. Preemption with respect to other laws
(a) On and after January 1, 1978, all legal or equitable rights
that are equivalent to any of the exclusive rights within the
general scope of copyright as specified by section 106 in works
of authorship that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression
and come within the subject matter of copyright as specified by
sections 102 and 103, whether created before or after that date
and whether published or unpublished, are governed exclusively
by this title. Thereafter, no person is entitled to any such
right or equivalent right in any such work under the common law
or statutes of any State.
I had to read that one through a few times, it's on the dense side. But,
as far as I can tell, this text is saying that this law pre-empts *other
laws*, in particular state laws, with regard to copyright. Last time I
checked, no state had enacted the GPL into law. I don't see how it applies
to a copyright license at all.
Am I missing something here, or is this guy still out to lunch?
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