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Re: Thoughts on GPL's Appropriate Legal Notices? or the CPAL?

On Wed, 14 Dec 2011 at 16:47:33 -0500, Clark C. Evans wrote:
> the question for me is 
> if "Powered By SugarCRM" is a reasonable author attribution.

No, I don't think it is.

"Copyright © 2011 John Doe" and "Copyright © 2011 SugarCRM Inc." are
both Appropriate Legal Notices; "Incorporates code by John Doe",
"Based on a work by SugarCRM Inc." and "Authors: John Doe, Jane Smith et al"
all seem like reasonable author attributions.

This is not the clearest possible example; be careful to distinguish here
between SugarCRM, a product, and SugarCRM Inc., a legal entity. A product
can't be an author, but perhaps a legal entity can, depending how you and
your jurisdiction interpret the relationship between work-for-hire and

Here's a clearer example with less confusing names: "Powered by
GNU Emacs" is neither an author attribution nor an Appropriate Legal Notice;
"© Free Software Foundation, Inc." is an Appropriate Legal Notice;
"Author: Richard Stallman" is an author attribution.

> | (By contrast, "incorporates code from SugarCRM" would remain a true
> fact,
> | and is nicely neutral: a non-binding request to acknowledge use of

To be clear, I didn't intend this as an example of something that should be
mandated by the license either. (I'm sure there are situations where it can
become equally false in something that is still legally a derived work,
in fact.)

Here's an example of what I mean by "a non-binding request":
(That particular example is unusually clear and specific; most are rather
more vague.)

Or you could just include a reasonable credit of your choice in the work,
and rely on it being reasonable enough that there's no reason
to patch it out. (Of course, this only works if it actually *is* reasonable.)


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