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Re: New Project: COPYRIGHT HOWTO. -Reply -Reply

Er...make that IS dept (they have VERY different meanings :-])

>>> Gregory Dickinson <debian@BARW.COM> 06/04/98 08:16am >>>
The idea of having a copyright lawyer look it over once it is written sound
excellent.  I work for a large law firm that has a copyright and IP practice group,
an I am sure that (since I work in the OS dept. and they all LOVE me :-]) that I
could talk one of the lawyers in that group into loking over it real quick-like once
it is finished.

>>> <sjc@gis.net> 06/03/98 11:59pm >>>
On Wed, Jun 03, 1998 at 11:25:12PM +0200, Jens Ritter wrote:
> Hallo all, 
> as a lot of us developers have to deal with copyright problems, I would
> like to start this (hopefully) littly project. 

This sounds like an interesting idea.
> I would like to write a COPYRIGHT HOWTO, which might be send to
> authors of software, which a) do not state what copyright is
> associated with their software and b) who do not use a free (enough)
> license.
> What should be in there:
> 1. A discussion what is necessary to constitute a Copyright and
> License for a program (Do you have to state copyright in every file,
> is a COPYRIGHT file in the top directory enough, is a Copyright line
> in an LSM file enough, etc.).

This all sounds good...and as being associated with debian I understand 
your focus on free software licenses, and I definitly myself feel that
free software licences are far superior.

I think what needs to be included is also info about non-free licences.
It would be good to see a nice guide...what needs to be spelled out
explicitly in a licence? what is assumed true as long as nothing
explicitly states otherwise? etc....

Information on both free and non-free licences is important...it should
be usefull for everyone. It woul dbe nice to see some example licences
and what they mean, and espcially their pitfalls 
(like for instance some peopel find they don't like the GPL cuz its not free 
enough for them)
> _4._ Big disclaimer, as we are not lawyers. :-)

This is of course good...and probably necissary (I have often wondered
if such disclaimers are really needed or just the result of peoples misguided 

I think it woul dbe nice to write it and then find a way to have a copyright 
lawyer who is willing to help out read it over and give it  aquick check 
for the validity of its statements.

I think it is important to stress a licence which is carefully worded such
that it allows and dissalows what the author wishes to do so with, and
also is not complete overkill (for instance I think the GPL is a good example 
of overkill....)

Also I think "Public Domain" should be mentioned...and what it means to place 
something "in the public domain" (my understanding is that that means
a person who writes a piece of software explicitly gives up all rights to
it which a copyright would give them)

** Stephen Carpenter ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** ** sjc@delphi.com **
"Maturity is often more absurd than youth and very frequently is most 
unjust to youth"
-- Thomas Edison 

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