[thelist] Open source licensing and web development

Kasimir K evolt at kasimir-k.fi
Wed Oct 27 07:56:44 CDT 2004

M. Seyon wrote on 2004-10-27 03:38:
>>So any of the html documents the visitors access would be beyond my 
>>licences, as I did not create them, but my client did. Is this correct?
> No, I don't think that's at all correct. If Ford builds the machine that 
> builds its cars but didn't necessarily build the cars, does that mean they 
> don't own the rights to the cars?

Let's have an example from the digital domain: Adobe makes Photoshop, I 
use it to create an image from scratch - how owns the image? Me of course.

Now, I make a website with a CMS and my client uses it to create 
original work published on the web in form of html-documents.

In both cases a client uses a software product to give their ideas 
digital form.

> I guess if you want to find a specific technical argument for why you do 
> actually have rights to the html documents you could delve into the 
> "derivative works" aspects of copyright.

Let's have a look at what GPL's take on this is:
"The act of running the Program is not restricted, and the output from 
the Program is covered only if its contents constitute a work based on 
the Program (independent of having been made by running the Program). 
Whether that is true depends on what the Program does."

I wouldn't say, that a person using a CMS is basing their work on the 
program code of the said CMS. On the other hand, in the PHP code I have 
my <div>s and things that apperar on the html document together with the 
users input.

> That said, as in most matters legal, I really don't think bringing your 
> questions to thelist for a definitive answer is the wisest decision. 

Oh, of course I wouldn't bring my legal questions here for a definitive 
answer! I'm after different views and opinions, and especially the 
experiences of those who have been dealing with GPLd websites.

This subject indeed is muddy waters, but I think an effort to clear it a 
bit would be a good idea...


More information about the thelist mailing list