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?

2 Answers 2


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:


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
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/>.
  • The author may or may not be the copyright holder. Depends on local laws and other potential contractual obligations.
    – hotpaw2
    Commented May 2, 2011 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.

  • 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
    Commented May 2, 2011 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. Commented May 29, 2011 at 19:07
  • @Rein henrichs - is that suggestion legal advice? Commented Nov 3, 2011 at 5:03

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