Re: Copyright issues

From: MJ Ray <mjr(at)phonecoop(dot)coop>
To: spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org, glp(at)openwrt(dot)org
Subject: Re: Copyright issues
Date: 2008-03-04 14:19:55
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Gregers Petersen <glp(at)openwrt(dot)org> wrote: [...]
> There would be a number of benifits for if it became a more
> organized entity, which also would include copyright consolidation
> within the project. But, how is this aspect specificly handled in SPI?
> SPI is a 'legal entity' which handles certain practical tasks for their
> members - but, how does this relate to the copyright aspect?

I think the most relevant summary is
Position and Promises about Intellectual Property
and its section on Software Copyright:-

"SPI does not encourage software authors to assign copyright in
their work to SPI. It is usually in everyone's best interests for
the original author to retain their copyright, and to release it
under a good free software licence such as the GNU General Public
License (preferably stating version 2 or, at your option, any later

Nevertheless, in some circumstances authors may wish to assign
software copyright to SPI. In this case SPI will release the
software under the GNU General Public License unless the nature of
software requires a less restrictive licence. In any case SPI will
release such software under a licence compatible with the GNU GPL."

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.

I'm not aware of other cases where SPI has done anything about any
copyright interest. I can think of two cases where I'm unhappy with
SPI's handling of other property, but I doubt the SFC-style approach
would have done better. What benefits are you anticipating?

Personally, I suspect developers keeping their own copyright interests
and agreeing to cooperate in some ways would be the best move. No-one
has as much motive for fixing stuff as the project's participants.

MJ Ray tel:+44-844-4437-237 -
Webmaster-developer, statistician, sysadmin, online shop builder,
consumer and workers co-operative member -
Writing on koha, debian, sat TV, Kewstoke


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