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Re: Group Copyright

Thomas Bushnell, BSG <tb@becket.net>:

> > 3) list two or three primary contacts (the Berne riff kind of means that
> > all thirty still have standing to sue).
> That's no good at all.  All are still copyright owners, so you're
> deliberately misleading the people who get the code.  Indeed, Debian
> relies all the time on the assumption that we are talking to the real
> authors when we talk to the authors listed on the code.  Or maybe the
> court would deem this kind of thing as a defacto assignment to those
> "primary contacts" by all the other authors.  I have no idea.  Better
> to decide what you actually want and do that, than play dice.

You are not misleading anyone if you write something like:

Copyright (C) 2000-2001 Peter Gurney, Peter Davy, Harry Hawk, and others.

However, if you carry on like that, you will soon find it impossible
to contact all the authors, which means you won't later be able to
change or clarify the licence. As I said before, that can be an
advantage. However, it could also be a disadvantage if you chose a bad
licence in the first place.

If you are using a well known and standard licence, such as the GPL, I
don't see a major problem with this approach. It's certainly less
trouble than setting up a corporation and assigning copyrights.


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