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zwiki copyright status

The ZWiki project (a wiki engine for the Zope framework, package
zope-zwiki in debian main) contains a copyright statement on files:

    (c) 1999-2003 Simon Michael <simon@joyful.com> for the zwiki

The project is GPL2, however the maintainer (Simon Michael) desires that
he own the copyright for the project, as is recommended by the FSF for
legal defense purposes.  However there are many contributors:


A written agreement of copyright transfer has not been obtained for any
contributor, however verbal agreements to this effect have been obtained
for most of the larger contributions.  We all wish this to remain free
software and do not anticipate hostile action against the code.  We have
placed relevant copyright information, and a recent irc chat on the
subject here:


Our questions are these: 

1. Does the above constitute a valid copyright transfer?  Given the
above, what is the copyright status of this project?  Are the copyrights
still held by individual contributors or are they (in your legal
opinion) actually held by the maintainer?

2. The maintainer may wish to relicense the codebase under the ZPL:


and contribute the code to the Zope product (which requires an explicit
written dual-copyright where the copyright holder transfers half
ownership to the Zope corporation).  Could the maintainer perform this
action, legally, or must he contact each contributor and ask them to
re-assign half their copyright to the Zope corporation?

3. The maintainer may wish to relicense the codebase under a proprietary
license, for profit-generating purposes.  Is the above copyright
sufficent to allow him to do this?

4. Can anyone address the robustness of any of the above licensing to
SCO-style attacks, or any attack for that matter?  What should we do to
improve or clarify the situation?  A move to ZPL is being contemplated.

Thanks for your time,
Bob McElrath

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