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Re: Bug#335898: bogus "all rights reserved" message

Robert Millan wrote:

> On Wed, Oct 26, 2005 at 11:16:14AM -0500, Jeffrey L. Taylor wrote:
>> Quoting Robert Millan <rmh@aybabtu.com>:
>> > Package: kfreebsd-5
>> > Severity: normal
>> > 
>> > The following lines are printed by kFreeBSD when boot starts:
>> > 
>> > "Copyright (c) 1992-2005 The FreeBSD Project.
>> > Copyright (c) 1979, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993,
>> > 1994
>> >         The Regents of the University of California. All rights
>> >         reserved."
>> > 
>> > I think there two problems with that:
>> > 
>> >   - "All rights reserved" would imply that the software is not licensed
>> >   at all,
>> >     which isn't true.  The answers I got from #debian-devel indicate
>> >     it's perfectly legal to remove this message for clarification.
>> > 
>> IIRC, the phrase "All rights reserved." is required for copyrighted
>> material in some Latin American countries.  Without it, it isn't
>> copyrighted.  I.e., "All rights reserved." is the equivalent of
>> "Copyright 2005 I. Author".  Of course, IANAL.

Actually, it's required in order to claim international copyright protection
under the Buenos Aires Convention of 1910.  This is totally obsolete since
August 23, 2000, when Nicaragua signed the Berne Convention.

It was pretty nearly obsolete for a long time before that because nearly all
the Buenos Aires members had signed the UCC, so it only mattered for an
author in one of the few Buenos Aires countries which signed the UCC but
not Berne, who wanted copyright in one of the few Buenos Aires countries
which signed Berne but not the UCC (or vice versa).

> According to what I've been told in #debian-devel (which makes sense to
> me),
> "all rights reserved" means you have no right to use this software. 

Not exactly.  It meant that none of the copyright rights were given away
*implicitly*.  They can still be given away *explicitly*, as by a license. 
Nowadays in most countries none of the rights are ever given away
implicitly, so it does nothing.

> However, the licensing terms in the source code should take preference.
> I'm CCing debian-legal, perhaps they can mirror some light into this.

ksig --random|

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