[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Debian Documentation: Debian Dictionary

At 06:14 PM 11/17/98 +0000, Oliver Elphick wrote:
>  >
>  >I believe Debian needs a Dictionary where all the definitions are GPL'd (or
>  >LGPL'd if we want to support mixing with non-copyleft'd definitions).  I am
>  >uncomfortable supporting any copyleft license that is not listed on the
>  >"What Is Copyleft?" <http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/copyleft.html>.  I chose
>  >Debian GNU/Linux above all other releases, specifically for this reason.
>On the HTML submission form, state that all contributions will be liable
>to editing and will be copylefted; and that submission of an entry
>means accepting this automatically. 

I am not a lawyer but I am not sure that is sufficient.  If someone sends
email  and does not include a copyright notice, then (for the U.S.) is is
subject to Title 17 of the U.S. Code., "201. Ownership of copyright" 
<http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/title17/2-201.html> says:  

"(b) Works Made for Hire. In the case of a work made for hire, the employer
or other person for whom the work was prepared is considered the author for
purposes of this title, and, unless the parties have expressly agreed
otherwise in a written instrument signed by them, owns all of the rights
comprised in the copyright."

"(c) Contributions to Collective Works. Copyright in each separate
contribution to a collective work is distinct from copyright in the
collective work as a whole, and vests initially in the author of the
contribution. In the absence of an express transfer of the copyright or of
any rights under it, the owner of copyright in the collective work is
presumed to have acquired only  the privilege of reproducing and
distributing the contribution as part of that particular collective work,
any revision of that collective work, and any later collective work in the
same series."

Unless you obtain an "express transfer of the copyright" or obtain
something "expressly agreed otherwise in a written instrument signed by
them" I am not sure you can simply say "if you send it to me, I own it".  I
think that interpretation would be risky.  I propose that the best way out
of this is to simply refuse to accept submissions that lack the appropriate
copyright notice.  I propose that the GPL or LGPL affords the best protection.

Copyright(c) 1998 Lyno Sullivan; this work is free and may be
copied, modified and distributed under the GNU Library General
Public License (LGPL) <http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/lgpl.html> and
it comes with absolutely NO WARRANTY;  mailto:lls@freedomain.org

Reply to: