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Re: Sponsorship requirements and copyright files

On Sat, Mar 21 2009, Thomas Viehmann wrote:

> Hi Manoj,
> Manoj Srivastava wrote:
>>  o)  It should name the original authors -- which, in my view, is
>>      distinct from every subsequent contributor. This can bea matter of
>>      subjective interpretation, though.
> Allow me to disagree. While in common language "original" can be used in
> the sense of "initial" as your interpretation seems to suggest, this is
> clearly and consistently not the case in the context of copyright. In
> fact, "original author" is a something of a technical term in this
> domain. A definition capturing the common meaning of this term can be
> found e.g. in the CC licenses. In CC 3.0 it starts with
>   "Original Author" means, in the case of a literary or artistic work,
>   the individual, individuals, entity or entities who created the Work
>   ...
> The works Debian distributes are more often than not the result of a
> collaborative effort. As such, anyone with a (original, i.e. creative)
> contribution to the work is an original author, and not just whoever
> started a project.

        Had Debian policy been written by copyright lawyers, you might
 have had a point. The  wording in policy was vetted by us non-lawyers;
 and, in fact, was last modified in a commit made by me, on
 2005-06-16.  I certainly did not mean the original in the sense you say
 it means in copyright law.

        Putting busy work into a publicly available and documented
 policy makes it no less busy work, and a partial list of copyright
 owners (since the list of copyright owners is largter thatn the ones in
 the copyright notices on files) serves little  purpose, apart from hand
 wavy ones that applaud us for putting in extra, albeit mostly useless,

An exception TESTS a rule; it NEVER proves it.  -- Edmund C. Berkeley
Manoj Srivastava <srivasta@debian.org> <http://www.debian.org/~srivasta/>  
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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