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Re: Bug#56166: base-files: copyright in motd is outdated (fwd)

On Tue, 25 Jan 2000, you wrote:
> Well, my question is more a "do we really want to claim ownership of it?"
> than a "do we really have the right to copyright Debian as a whole?".
> Is claming ownership of Debian as a whole within the spirit of the free
> software world?

Under the Berne Convention (to which the U.S. is a signatory) there is no
notice requirement as a condition to copyright protection.  Essentially,
the law tends to preserve your rights automatically on the assumption that
you want to keep them.  Thus, even though we don't place a notice on the
tangible media, the Debian organization can still pursue copyright infringement
actions (and other organizations and individuals would have to consider that). 
Consequently, the question is not whether we should or should not claim
copyright ownership - Debian already has it as soon as the compilation is
complete in a tangible media.  What we should consider is our policy about
copyright infringement and what Debian should state as its policy before the
public, including, if necessary, publicly and affirmatively renouncing
copyright protection.

Ronald L. Chichester
713-621-0703 (voice)
713-622-1624 (facsimile)

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