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Re: [Fwd: Re: [gNewSense-users] PFV call for help.]

On Thu, Jan 24, 2008 at 11:23:53AM +1100, Ben Finney wrote:
> John Halton <johnhalton@gmail.com> writes:

> > On Wed, Jan 23, 2008 at 11:01:35PM +0100, Julien Cristau wrote:
> > > > > * line 81-83: "OpenVision also retains copyright to derivative
> > > > > works of the Source Code, whether created by OpenVision or by
> > > > > a third party." I think this could threat this software
> > > > > freedom.

> > On further reflection, I'm inclined to agree. The fact that it says
> > "OpenVision *retains* copyright" strongly implies that it is simply
> > talking about maintaining the status quo, not about changing any
> > copyright ownership. If the intention was for copyright to be
> > assigned to OpenVision then clearer wording to this effect would be
> > needed.

> It's the "derivative works [...] whether created by OpenVision or by a
> third party" that muddies the water. This could be rationally
> interpreted as a claim to "retain" copyright in *all* derived works of
> the original, including all derivatives, even those parts created "by
> a third party".

Er, of course that's what it means.  "Derivative work" is a term *defined*
in US copyright law as *meaning* "those transformations of a work in which
the author maintains a copyright interest".  This is nothing more than a
redundant, boilerplate assertion of the owner's copyright under law.

> That interpretation would fairly easily lead to the conclusion that
> the creator of the derivative work *doesn't* have copyright in the
> work, since OpenVision's terms explicitly take it away.

Only if you were operating in a vacuum with no understanding of the
terminology, or how copyright operates.  It's not possible for OpenVision to
deprive someone else of their copyright by including a statement in a
license for OpenVision's own work.

Steve Langasek                   Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer                   to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer                                    http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com                                     vorlon@debian.org

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