Re: Copyright issues

From: Jimmy Kaplowitz <jimmy(at)spi-inc(dot)org>
To: MJ Ray <mjr(at)phonecoop(dot)coop>
Cc: spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: Copyright issues
Date: 2008-03-04 16:45:00
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Hi Gregers,

On Tue, Mar 04, 2008 at 02:19:55PM +0000, MJ Ray wrote:
> I think the most relevant summary is
> Position and Promises about Intellectual Property
> and its section on Software Copyright:-
[quote snipped]

The document to which MJ refers is accurate, and as it says, SPI can
accept copyright assignments if that fits the needs of OpenWRT.
Alternatively, the copyright holders could retain copyright and grant
SPI whatever legal permissions are necessary to enforce violations in
court, or to accomplish whatever other goals you are striving for. SPI's
status as a legal entity enables all of these possibilities.

> As for how it has been handled in practice, see [...]
> (again, why are those minutes still draft?) where (IMO) SPI ducked the
> issue of debian's website copyright because the board didn't prepare
> before the meeting. The problem remains to this day, AIUI, without
> even a clear description of what needs to happen to resolve it.

The issue with the Debian website copyright is rather different and is
much more complicated, because contacting all past contributors to that
website, getting some sort of legal document signed with them, and
convincing all current and future contributors to do the same would be a
huge task. I'm not saying this is impossible, but if I'm not mistaken,
Debian hasn't even decided how it wants to resolve the issue, so SPI
can't really do much. Additionally, these discussions happened back in
2005, and the SPI Board has become much more organized and better
prepared in the three years since then.

One last thing: I was a board member from 2004-2007 and am again since
late last month, and am speaking in that capacity, but only for myself
and not for SPI as a whole. MJ Ray is a very active contributing member,
though has never been on the SPI board, and is therefore speaking in his
individual capacity.

- Jimmy Kaplowitz

P.S. - MJ, those minutes are in fact no longer draft, but many of our
old minutes have not been updated to remove the text saying that they
are no longer draft. In actual fact, all minutes except the ones from
the most recent meeting have been approved.


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