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Re: Group Copyright

On Thu, 19 Jul 2001, Joseph Carter wrote:

> Lots of free software projects are developed by fairly large groups.  It
> seems to be a common practice for everyone who contributes to a project to
> be added to the Copyright notice at the top of the file.  Is this actually
> wise?  IIRC, should it become necessary, legal action cannot be taken by
> just one or two of the Copyright holders - it has to be everybody.
> Another habit I've seen is for projects to list their group as the
> Copyright holder, even if their group is not an incorporated entity.  This
> much at least I _know_ is a problem, since no such legal "person" exists
> to defend their rights.

Note that this text at the beginning is IMHO mainly informational.
Copyright-holders are those who wrote it. Or those this status was
transferred to. (Note that e.g. Germans can olny give away licences
not their copyright, though licences can be exclusive).

So someone, whose name is not written there should IMHO still have all
the rights and the possibility to go to courts to get them.

> How then should free software projects handle Copyright?  Advice would be
> appreciated.  I'm sure I'm not the first person to ever worry about this.

No idea. Copyright has far in my opinion far to many national laws to have
anything said about it. There seem some international consence, that
software is copyrightable. (Though German lawyers say, that copyright of
software is an abuse of the term copyright and was only included in
German law, so that the USA signed some international contracts they
refused to do almost half an century.)

  Bernhard R. Link

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