Re: Copyright issues re Debian website

From: Jimmy Kaplowitz <jimmy(at)spi-inc(dot)org>
To: Bruce Perens <bruce(at)perens(dot)com>
Cc: spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org, MJ Ray <mjr(at)phonecoop(dot)coop>
Subject: Re: Copyright issues re Debian website
Date: 2008-03-04 20:40:45
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On Tue, Mar 04, 2008 at 11:36:02AM -0800, Bruce Perens wrote:
> So, can we please have SPI counsel opine on my theory as presented above?

Personally, given that it's far from certain that Debian would wish to
pursue your theory, I'd much rather wait until Debian requests SPI to
pursue it or determine its legal validity. I don't oppose it (at least
not as a SPI board member), but I'd rather reserve our lawyers' limited
resources for requests of an associated project instead of for
individual desires that may or may not be share by the project they
pertain to. As I said before, feel free to propose it to Debian.

> Regarding the transfer of copyrights to SPI, the holding company concept
> is the problem for Debian. Nobody would be so uneasy were the proposal
> to transfer the copyrights to the Debian project as its own legal entity.

If you think that Debian objects because SPI has other associated
projects (which I doubt is the reason), feel free to recommend to them
that they move the website copyright to a legal entity solely affiliated
with Debian. Under the current Debian Constitution, SPI is only one of
several entities that hold assets for Debian, and we don't pretend to
have a veto power on Debian holding assets elsewhere. IRS rules might
require that any recipient of SPI's copyright interest in the Debian
website be a 501(c)(3) entity with compatible purposes, but that'd be
the worst of it. My guess is that those Debian developers who object
want to retain their individual copyrights in the site, or don't want to
deal with one or more of paperwork, legalese, or US jurisdiction for
their contributions. However, you'd have to ask Debian to know for sure.

- Jimmy Kaplowitz


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