Re: Licence of SteelBlue
I would note in the U.S. (at least) however the following:
§ 204. Execution of transfers of copyright ownership
(a)A transfer of copyright ownership, other than by operation of law, is not
valid unless an instrument of conveyance, or a note or memorandum of the
transfer, is in writing and signed by the owner of the rights conveyed or
such owner?s duly authorized agent.
Although with the new U.S. E-sign (electronic signature legislation), the
meaning of "signed" and "writing" could have a different scope than
traditionally understood. I haven't studied the new enacted legislation to
determine the impact.
This is not legal advice, a client-attorney relationship is not hereby
established, etc. etc.
From: Henning Makholm <email@example.com>
To: Tomasz Wegrzanowski <firstname.lastname@example.org>
CC: Henning Makholm <email@example.com>, Juhapekka Tolvanen
Subject: Re: Licence of SteelBlue
Date: 26 Jul 2000 22:02:06 +0200
Scripsit Tomasz Wegrzanowski <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Nothing in copyright law allow you to make such claims in a license.
A "license" means two things:
1. The permission from the owner of an intellectual property right
for someone to do whatever the IPR protects.
2. The contract in which the owner of an intellectual property right
agrees to give someone a license (sense 1) in exchange for certain
goods or promises, to be specified in the contract.
The document we're talking about is clearly a license in sense 2. You
can either not accept it - in which case you will be bound by nothing
- or you can accept it - in which case you will get a license (sense
1) *and* become liable to do *whatever* the contract says you agree
to do in return.
What these return liabilities may consist of is not governed by
copyright law, but by normal contract law. It would make a
perfectly legal contract to say:
| Party A allows party B to copy his computer program X.
| In return, party B will
| 1) pet a cat, and
| 2) assign to party A the copyright to any future novels he
| writes featuring a protagonist with the name of John.
Even though the novels may not be connected with program X by
copyright law, the contract nevertheless *creates* a connection.
What is *not* possible is for party A to unilaterally *offer* to
party B this contract, then - without any evidence that B has
accepted the contract - claim ownership of books that B write
about guys named John.
That is, however, not the point of the license we're discussing
presently. It says that *if* I want to copy the program *and* I
create patches *then* I must give these them these patches.
If, somehow, I create patches *without* copying the program,
then their copyright statement simply does not apply to me, and
I do not have to do the things they require.
Henning Makholm "Slip den panserraket og
dig på jorden med ansigtet
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