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I don't have copyright licence from local government. How can I use GPL? As far as I know a step to apply GPL is to add the copyright notice:

Copyright XXXX shabab haider...

What shall I write in this section? Am I eligible to write such thing? Do I have to redirect the copyright to free software foundation or something similar?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com May 1 '11 at 17:22

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

As long as you are the author you are eligible to write a copyright notice that states that you are the copyright holder, you don't have to redirect the copyright to anyone else. I suggest you check out this page on how to use GPL.
This is what is generally written in GPL'd source code files:

Copyright YEAR FIRSTNAME LASTNAME

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
(at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program.  If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.
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Thanks very much –  shababhsiddique May 1 '11 at 18:30
    
The author may or may not be the copyright holder. Depends on local laws and other potential contractual obligations. –  hotpaw2 May 2 '11 at 0:25

In most jurisdictions, copyright applies as soon as you publish a work in some physical form (fixation). You do not need a "copyright license" from your local government. Check your local copyright laws and/or consult a lawyer to be sure. IANAL.

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1  
For "most jurisdictions", you can safely assume "all". The Berne Convention makes copyright assignment automatic. Non-signatories (Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Cambodia, East Timor, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Kiribati, Kuwait, Laos, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Taiwan, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu) may have additional requirements. "Consult a lawyer" may take a long trip ;) –  MSalters May 2 '11 at 12:30
    
@MSalters That is of course true. On the other hand, I am always going to suggest consulting a lawyer when it comes to legal advice. –  Rein Henrichs May 29 '11 at 19:07
    
@Rein henrichs - is that suggestion legal advice? –  Martin Beckett Nov 3 '11 at 5:03

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