Re: Copyright issues re Debian website

From: Adrian Bunk <bunk(at)stusta(dot)de>
To: Bruce Perens <bruce(at)perens(dot)com>
Cc: spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: Copyright issues re Debian website
Date: 2008-03-07 20:24:29
Views: Raw Message | Whole Thread | Download mbox
Lists: spi-general

On Fri, Mar 07, 2008 at 10:20:08AM -0800, Bruce Perens wrote:
> Jimmy Kaplowitz wrote:
>> But, the full bit of text I quoted does say that you need the unanimous
>> agreement of every single contributor
> Yes. Sun reiterates the same simplistic view of the issue that has been
> repeated elsewhere.
> If this were true, then a collective work of 1000 copyright holders
> would have a problem relicensing if they could just not find ONE person.
> That person may have died intestate, may have left the copyright in the
> hands of a state government or some other holder who has no idea that
> the copyright exists and has no reasonable means to exercise their
> rights as copyright holder.
> And it's entirely absurd that the other 999 producers of a collective
> work would be permanently impeded by this fact. IMO, a reasonable
> process to get around this exists and /can be used,/ but is not
> currently backed up by an affirmative statement in law or case law. This
> isn't unusual. There is a lot of stuff that we do that has no
> affirmative statement in law behind it, but goes unchallenged. For
> example, there is no affirmative statement in the law that allows an
> author to deliberately place a work in the public domain.

Is your aim to find some moral reason backing your position or doing it
in a way that is for sure legal?

Also don't forget that especially in the open source area judges in
different countries might come to different decisions based on their
local laws.

This is like e.g. the grey legal area whether binary-only Linux kernel
modules are legal at all. AFAIK noone has yet tested this at all at
court. And everyone might get away unchallenged it. But I hope everyone
is aware that although it might be considered immorally the first legal
battle might e.g. be some kernel developer from <country> suing the
admin of ftp.<contry> due to the contents of [1] based on the
copyright law in <country>. [2]

No matter what one might consider "entirely absurd" even absurd
legislation is sometimes enforced.

100% legal safety might not always be possible, but you should be aware
which risks you take, whom else you endanger of getting lawsuits, and
whether it's worth it.

> Thanks
> Bruce


[1] ftp://ftp.<country>
[2] Why would (s)he do this?
Like e.g. Caldera turning into SCO and a Linux kernel developer
fired by Novell yesterday being hired by Microsoft tomorrow life
changes fast, so even someone without a reason today might find one


"Is there not promise of rain?" Ling Tan asked suddenly out
of the darkness. There had been need of rain for many days.
"Only a promise," Lao Er said.
Pearl S. Buck - Dragon Seed


Browse spi-general by date

  From Date Subject
Next Message Josh Berkus 2008-03-08 01:18:13 Re: Copyright issues re Debian website
Previous Message Theodore Tso 2008-03-07 20:17:39 Re: Copyright issues re Debian website