Re: Copyright and License Guidelines
On Mar 22, 2011, at 15:37, Jonathan Yu wrote:
>> According to whom? Copyright is the backbone of the GPL. The license cannot be assigned if you do not have copyright. So actually this is backwards - the copyright is a must. The license makes a great deal of difference too, at least in terms of distribution.
> I don't disagree with you -- however, the *statement* itself is not
> required. If you write something and don't have any statement, the
> Berne Convention means that you (the writer) automatically get
> copyright on it. Just because you don't put a copyright statement on
> something doesn't make it "Public Domain."
>> The Contributor License Agreement is the wrong solution. The right solution is getting the right copyright throughout the package and honoring the copyright holder's wishes - not forcing them to abandon their copyright. Damyan's position is the right one, and the one consistent with Debian's history.
> Doing what people have suggested, e.g. accepting patches with credit
> but without copyright attribution is actually illegal according to the
> Berne Convention, in the absence of that CLA.
I don't think that is what people are suggesting. I think both Russ and Damyan don't want a CLA, I know I don't. The other approach that would work would be do track down the copyright and include it in every package which ship, which is what the debian-perl team does today, if I'm not mistaken. That is not illegal and respects the upstream wishes of copyright holders. It makes life difficult for packagers, that is surely true, but I don't see how Debian can successfully proscribe policy on upstream. A CLA seems to be doing just that and would likely end up turning people away as opposed to bringing them in. I know I'll never contribute code to Ubuntu / Canonical directly because they require me to give up my copyright and that I won't do.