View Full Version : General Public License clarification

September 11th, 2012, 05:10 PM
A web designer built a website for us using SPIP. SPIP is released under GPL. Because SPIP is FOOS can we get access to the code of the website?

September 11th, 2012, 05:23 PM
no, but it wouldn't hurt to ask the author

September 11th, 2012, 05:41 PM
SPIP is the tool the designer used to build your website, but his own work is licensed under his own terms, unless your agreement with him stated so explicitly.

September 11th, 2012, 06:03 PM
d3v1150m471c and heminder

Thank you for the reply...

September 11th, 2012, 06:19 PM
Here in the United States programs written under contract are considered "works-for-hire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Work_for_hire)" and belong to the contracting party, not the developer. This general rule can be overridden by specific contractual language, of course. The answer to your question depends on whether India has equivalent laws governing "works-for-hire." Have you asked your attorney, or read the laws governing copyright in India?

The General Public License does not apply at all here unless the developer explicitly licensed it under the GPL and followed all the requirements to do so. Even then, he may not have had the rights to do that under existing Indian copyright law. I cannot unilaterally declare a program written under contract as GPL-licensed because the work-for-hire provision gives me no rights in the work to begin with.

September 11th, 2012, 06:50 PM
Not an Ubuntu support question; moved to Community Cafe.

September 12th, 2012, 02:47 AM
Its my understanding that you have to sign a work for hire agreement for work for hire to apply.

Also, since he is not releasing an executable file the GPL does not require him to give out the source code.

Plus a website has artwork, design concepts, ect, which have nothing to do with the license the code is under.

September 12th, 2012, 02:53 AM
Its my understanding that you have to sign a work for hire agreement for work for hire to apply.

It depends on how the term "employee" is construed in 17 USC 102 (http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#102): "(1) a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment". I'll admit I don't know the case law here, do you?

Regardless, what matters is the state of the law in India.