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SubjectRe: Dual-Licensing Linux Kernel with GPL V2 and GPL V3
Date
On Sunday 10 June 2007 08:45:41 Jiri Kosina wrote:
> On Sun, 10 Jun 2007, Neil Brown wrote:
> > I presume the heirs of the dead people could change the license. And if
> > they have no heir, then there is no-one to sue for breach of copyright,
> > so I assume the copyright lapses.
>
> In most of the law systems out there the copyright stays valid for 70
> years (or so) after the holder's death.

I'm almost certain that it is the same in the US, not the death+90 previously
stated. (I've read the copyright laws a number of times to deal with some
involved conversations) In some of the writings tied the change that made it
death+70 its stated that said change was made to "bring US laws in line with
Europe and most of the rest of the world" (paraphrase - I didn't bother going
and digging out the page again). It's a relatively common belief - and, IIRC,
was even brought before the US Supreme Court - that the copyrights length was
changed to give Disney longer protection, if just because a lot of Disney's
copyrights were going to expire and the change was applied retroactively.
(And, unsurprisingly, the suit was shot down - 70 years is still a "limited"
period. However, IIRC, there was some noted concern by the Supreme Court that
the US Congress would exploit the legal loophole and just keep extending the
copyright period retroactively to make it, effectively, never-ending. That
scenario, while not *technically* in violation of the language of the US
Constitution (which grants the US Congress the power to set the length of
copyrights) would violate the spirit of it)

DRH
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