Re: Group Copyright
Well supposedly SPI already exists for this purpose, however SPI and
Debian both cower in fear from the mere potential of a cease-and-desist
letter because someone got the bright idea that one might be possible
under a silly US currently law being actively challenged which most legal
scholars have already condemned as unconstitutional.
The 2001 DMCA is fulfilling an important duty. In fact, our country
(USA, for the non American readers of this mail) signed the Berne
convention on March 1, 1989. For a reference of this, see
"Contracting Parties" at http://www.wipo.org/treaties/ip/berne/index.html
The "scholars" you mentioned can not possibly have turned down the
DMCA as "unconstitutional". The Berne convention was written by the
United Nations (there including USA itself), who is also author of
the very noble universal declaration of human rights. I understand
that some of our states still have death chambers (regardless of the
fact that our fathers went to save Europe from similar devices...),
and I also understand that along the same line there are people who
dislike the copyright law, but the world at large (including us),
has agreed upon UN conventions *to protect* basic rights world-wide!
The campaign against commercial software is now going too far, and
moving against the DMCA is simply *childish*. In reading the rest of
this thread, it really seems that you have no clue of what those
laws are really for. Please step aside from the software domain for a
moment, and think about the world at large. Then go back to the
free software, and be happy. The DMCA basically says two things:
1. that you can do what you want of an authored work of which you are
the copyright owner, and
2. that you are legally entitled to do certain things of an authored
work of which you have a licence of use.
Now, at large, if you are the author of a code, or whatever, and you
want to transfer your copyright for this work to the free software
community, you do it! The DMCA is granting you the right to do it!
If you want to keep the copyright, and sign a GPL licence, you can
still do it! It is your right! That's what the DMCA is for; to
protect your rights! Period.
At this point, I don't have any dillusions that SPI has the desire nor the
ability to defend itself from a $5 small claims suit, let alone initiate
legal proceedings on behalf of someone else in defense of the GPL.
I am afraid the GPL has nothing to do with it. The GPL is legally valid,
in front of the DMCA; it is, in fact, an unlimited licence which is
freely signed by the author/copyright owner.
On Group Copyright, the law is simple. It applies to each single
author of the commonly written work. And the DMCA, again, is granting
you the right to do it, and is defending your right too.
Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp