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Re: draft for new Vim license

On Mon, Jan 07, 2002 at 12:15:38PM +0100, Bram Moolenaar wrote:
> I think you better use the principle that Vim comes as a package, and
> the license applies to the whole package, unless stated otherwise in
> individual files.

I agree, just as the copyright notice at the beginning of a book applies
to the whole book unless there are explicit, different copyrights
declared for subsections ("quotation used by permission") or entire
chapters, as you might find in an anthology of short stories or essays
by different authors.

> The only risk is that someone takes one file out of the package and
> distributes it.  Then it's not clear what copyright or license applies
> to it.

Only perceptually to the user; legally it's no more ambiguous than the
copyright on a page or chapter of a book if you rip it loose from the
binding.  The copyright still applies even if the notice is missing.

> But so long as Debian distributes the Vim license with the package,
> that's not your problem.  It's only a risk for the person who wrote
> that file.  And he might not really care about it.

It's not a risk at all, in terms of him losing his copyright, if in fact
he has one.  If he does have one, then it should be mentioned either in
the file or people are well within their rights to assume that the Vim
license applies to it, under the same principle that leads us to presume
that all the pages of a book are under the copyright listed at the front
unless otherwise noted.

If your contributors hold copyright in parts of Vim and you are not
supplying notice of this fact in the copyright notice that applies to
Vim, then you may be infringing their copyright.  Or not, if you
received permission from them to republish their contributions as part
of Vim without having to supply information about their copyright, or if
they assigned the copyright to you (in a non-vague email, of course).

G. Branden Robinson                |    There is no housing shortage in
Debian GNU/Linux                   |    Lincoln today -- just a rumor that
branden@debian.org                 |    is put about by people who have
http://people.debian.org/~branden/ |    nowhere to live.    -- G. L. Murfin

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