[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: What "new name" means?

Juhapekka Tolvanen <juhtolv@cc.jyu.fi> wrote:

> It seems, that some licences require, that modified versions of original
> work must have new name. For example Design Science Licence is like
> that:
> http://www.dsl.org/copyleft/dsl.txt
> [...]
> But what constitutes "new name"?

The point is that the original work and the derivative should not be
intentionally confusable. If Acme publishes "Acme Foobar version 20.3"
and Debian packagers need to modify it -- providing necessary security
enhancements to it, say -- their packaged work is no longer of "Foobar
version 20.3" as it was published by Acme.

That isn't to say that Debian packagers can't change a work where
editing is necessary -- in fact I think they ought to work with
developers in this regard. And I'm under the impression that they do
-- doesn' this happen all the time? It would seem that any developer
would be happy with this kind of assistance from Debian ... but if the
developers do not want to implement those changes, they don't want
long-style options or don't believe in a particular security fix or
whatever, then the work as modified by Debian is a derivative work, a
different edition, and ought to be indicated so.

> If I release some poem called "Ode to Buffer Overflow" under DSL, and
> some guy called Joe "Random" Poet creates modified version of it, which
> of these names would be acceptable for that modified version?:
> - Ode to Buffer Overflow (Joe "Random" Poet Remix)
> - Ode to Buffer Overflow (version 1.0-Random-1.0)
> - Ode to Buffer Overflow revisited by Random

Any of these would probably be acceptable. As long as the new title is
clear and not deceptive, you're okay. Taking a "Foobar 1.0" release
and enhancing it, then releasing as "Foobar 2.0" might be deceptive in
certain cases, and you may be violating the rights of the copyright
holder. Copyleft never gives one the permission to claim the present
or future work of others as one's own, or to suggest a collaboration
where none exists. If you are clear about your role as editor or as
author sampling freely from some other work, then you should be okay.

> What If somebody creates Debian package of my poem?

I have not followed Debian development in some time but I do know that
books and other non-software works have been packaged and are now part
of the complete distribution. Surely there are more non-software
packages than ever -- icons, audio samples, maps, fonts, manuals etc.
-- but these all have a direct relation to some particular software.

But even if out of Debian's scope it seems reasonable to expect things
like recorded music, film or literature to be be packaged and
available for use with a free OS. What about Wikipedia, that free
encyclopedia? It seems reasonable to expect one day that an
encyclopedia might be distributed with a free OS.

> Also irc-nick or login of Debian developer could be used instead of
> "debian". But what if two consecutive maintainers of Debian-package
> does modifications?

This actually happens all the time with the written word, particularly
with translations and new scholarly editions of a work. The current
editor is given title-page credit and as part of the work's prefatory
matter (or in the case of etext some README file) is some kind of note
or word on the manuscript, revision history and editorial process.
Software as one type of writing has its own conventions.

> P.S: I don't subscribe to debian-legal -list, so please Cc: to me. But
> there is that Mail-Followup-To: -header.

I don't subscribe to debian-legal either, but kept it in the header.
You might be interested in checking out linart.net whose mailing list
is a place for discussion on these matters.

Reply to: