[python-uk] copyright info in source

Russel Winder russel at winder.org.uk
Tue Sep 10 23:49:26 CEST 2013

On Tue, 2013-09-10 at 14:18 +0100, Jon Ribbens wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 09, 2013 at 07:53:26PM +0100, Russel Winder wrote:
> > Sadly, although it would be nice to have a file that says it applies to
> > all files and so be very DRY, this will not work in UK and USA law,
> > possibly also other jurisdictions.
> Do you have a reference for this? As far as I am aware, that statement
> is simply wrong. Legally speaking, theoretically none of the computer
> files comprising a program require any sort of copyright statement or
> licence information whatsoever. The licence could be a completely
> separate thing, for example a piece of physical paper.

I am not aware of any authority that puts this in case law, so you are
right to point out that I am intimating something that is not actually
law. However neither am I explicitly wrong. But IANAL so you may know of
authorities which make me wrong on this.

You are correct that the author of any literary work has moral rights in
that work. The copyright always rests with the original author unless
explicitly assigned. However in the cases I have been involved with,
barristers have chosen not to make any copyright arguments over source
files where there was no explicit statement of copyright in the original
file. Other issues yes, but not ones of copyright.

My comment perhaps implied more that it should, but is founded in

Dr Russel Winder      t: +44 20 7585 2200   voip: sip:russel.winder at ekiga.net
41 Buckmaster Road    m: +44 7770 465 077   xmpp: russel at winder.org.uk
London SW11 1EN, UK   w: www.russel.org.uk  skype: russel_winder
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