Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

That's pretty interesting. I wonder if it's within npm's legal right to distribute someone else's IP in such a way that they do not desire. Granted the license is WTFPL but does that include taking over the IP itself?



> Granted the license is WTFPL but does that include taking over the IP itself?

In some jurisdictions you have "moral rights" in addition to your copyright - but even in those, I'd expect the WTFPL constitutes a license to falsely claim authorship of the covered code. I mean, the text pretty clearly authorizes you to do so on its face, and courts lean pretty strongly towards reading words under their plain, normal meanings. IANAL.


IANAL either, but moral rights are often (usually?) inalienable, so I doubt any license can waive them in those jurisdictions.

That said, I don't think "un-unpublishing" code (even under your own account) is the same as claiming ownership, just redistribution.


> Granted the license is WTFPL but does that include taking over the IP itself?

IANAL but "do whatever the fuck you want to" would seem to include literally everything including taking over the IP.


Yeah I get the "do whatever the fuck you want" but in a legal sense I wasn't sure that could (or did) include actual ownership. I thought that had more to do with copyright and any other IP transferring. Then again I also said I had no idea :)


The more I think about this license, the more I wonder if it's even legally enforceable. How do you enforce a license whose only terms are that it has no terms?


The WTFPL's own website mentions that it's never been tested in court.


> Granted the license is WTFPL but does that include taking over the IP itself

Well, I'm certainly not a lawyer, but I personally think thats in the spirit of the "Do What the Fuck You Want to Public License"... And at the end of the day the IP is still owned by the original author; the distribution of it has changed.


Post Berne, I believe copyright is the default. It may be WTFPL but it appears to be surprisingly hard to actually put something into public domain based on the brief reading I've been doing.


Uh... which part of "DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO" is actually unclear here? Is there a word or phrase that you're not grasping?

"DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO" clearly includes not only taking over the IP but also RE-LICENSING IT under whatever terms you like. That's kind of what "DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO". Do. What ever the fuck. You want to.

How is this unclear? I'm kind of baffled.


Licensing doesn't really have anything to do with copyright / trademark / IP in general. It just grants you the ability to use something in the way specified.

I'm not aware of case law where a license has been able to move the original IP from one party to another; I've only heard of that happening through standard legal documents.

But I also pointed out that I wasn't sure how it would shake out anyway and was seeking feedback.


But why are you saying the copyright was transferred? I don't see anything that implies that. Someone got a copy of the code under an irrevocable license that grants them to right to re-publish it, and that's what they are doing.


> But why are you saying the copyright was transferred?

I don't think I did?

> I don't see anything that implies that. Someone got a copy of the code under an irrevocable license that grants them to right to re-publish it, and that's what they are doing.

Yeah mostly curious if the original author could, say, use the DCMA or something similar to force npm to take it down if he really wanted to.


I mean, you mentioned "take over the IP" and "move the original IP from one party to another", but I don't see why you're asking that, as NPM hasn't taken over any IP (nor has the new user), they simply redistributed the code.


npm didn't take it over, another user did and npm helped re-publish the unpublished version. I already answered the why I asked that..."mostly curious if the original author could, say, use the DCMA or something similar to force npm to take it down if he really wanted to."


But the user didn't take over the IP, it only took over the name on NPM's registry.

As for the DMCA, usually not since most FOSS licenses are explicitly irrevocable, but with the WTFPL, who knows.


> But the user didn't take over the IP, it only took over the name on NPM's registry.

That's almost the same thing. Like if someone dropped their domain name and you grabbed it up. The customer / user isn't going to notice a difference but it's now being represented by someone else.

I don't think anyone cares enough to really do anything about this though. Mostly curious if it was possible to do something about it but I'm guessing the waters are pretty untested.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: