Re: [ANNOUNCE] Withdrawl of Open Source NDS Project/NTFS/M2FS forLinux

From: Hannah Schroeter (
Date: Tue Sep 05 2000 - 03:23:44 EST


In article <8ovlia$nq2$> you write:

>There are even countries (like Germany) where you CAN'T give up your
>copyright and put things into public domain. There is no such thing as
>public domain here. You _always_ keep a certain copyright until
>someone else assumes responsibility.

IIRC you can't even *transfer* the full copyrights in Germany.
The copyrights in Germany are divided into two parts:
- "Urheberpersönlichkeitsrecht"
  (personality rights like the ability to require naming of the
  author, but also protection from abusive modification of the
  work [!! "entstellende Veränderungen"], which means you
  can technically not even give away the right for *arbitrary* changes
  beforehand, you can only choose not to *use* the right to forbid
  "abusive" changes!)
  They can't be transferred nor given up. Maybe they are inherited
  on death of the author, and they cease 70 years after the death
  of the author
- "Nutzungsrechte" (usage rights)
  The rights to use, copy, distribute, ... the work
  They can be licensed, sublicensed, exclusively licensed (which
  amounts to a transfer of those rights), but everything subject
  to the limitations of the Urheberpersönlichkeitsrecht.

So, technically, you can NOT even transfer the copyright for
e.g. gcc contributions to the FSF, such a transfer is void at
least with respect to the Urheberpersönlichkeitsrecht.
I suppose, courts would value such a transfer (or attempt thereof)
as exclusive license for the Nutzungsrechte instead.

However, IANAL.


Regards, Hannah.
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