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Re: Bug#332782: Release Notes: license clarification

Josip Rodin wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 26, 2008 at 05:42:12AM +0200, W. Martin Borgert wrote:
>>> Obviously the implicit copyright "all rights reserved" would apply by default,
>>> but given that all contributions were explicitly published by all of the
>>> authors, I think that considering the work to be released into the public
>>> domain is a perfectly reasonable legal scenario, until decided otherwise.
>> You try to apply logic and common sense - but we're talking
>> about law - worse, copyright law.
> Well, okay, but we've already screwed up in theoretical terms. Instead, we
> have to think about the practical aspects of the law instead - will someone
> abuse our work, or will someone abuse us in court. (Indeed, many a lawyer
> will say that we should only ever consider practical aspects, and leave
> the theory to them.)
> I suppose copy&paste can happen with the Release Notes, but it would not
> detract from our cause (publishing information about Debian), so we don't
> care if someone "rips us off" :)
> I guess I could envision a case where some minor rogue contributor comes in
> screaming how his commit was 'all rights reserved' and how they never
> realized what was happening (shocking! :). But, in such an (unlikely) court
> battle the onus would be on them to prove that the stuff they committed was
> both copyrightable in the first place as well as not infringing on previous
> work (which they apparently didn't have any license to modify). Only after
> that would they have to explain the insignificant logical details such as
> just how they managed to mistake the second most visible document in the
> project -- with the public contact addresses and the public CVS repository
> with read/write access for many people -- for private venues where their
> work would be kept safe from copyright infringement.
> So it's pretty much a non-issue :)

Nope, without a license the contributor could ask for compensation per
copy that was distributed if the court would agree that he has copyright
on it and we didn't have permission to distribute it (which is not far
fetched at all without having a license...).



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