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

Re: Question about GPL and CC-BY SA 3.0

lumin <cdluminate@gmail.com> writes:

> (please CC me if reply, thanks)


> I'm maintaining a package and encountered some copyright issues,
> I believe here is the right place to ask for help :-)

Yes, this is the place to ask about legal (such as copyright) issues
with packages that may prevent them getting into Debian.

> There are many quotes/paragraphs from famous people on wikiquote.org,
> […]
> At first I thought ignoring the license issue is ok,
> as the content I chose is *definitely* known by most people,

Whether the content is known is irrelevant to copyright status.

What matters is: Does copyright law restrict what you're trying to do?
And what you're wanting to do is redistribute the work in Debian.

If the work is covered by copyright, it doesn't matter how well known it
is; you (and anyone who also redistributes, such as the Debian Project
or its recipients) will be violating copyright in many jurisdictions,
unless you have explicit license to do that from all copyright holders.

Some works may not be covered by copyright. You'll need to check with a
copyright lawyer, but some possibilities:

* The work may be several centuries old *and* you are redistributing
  that centuries-old text. (A translation or some other modification
  invokes a new copyright in the modified work, and you then need
  permission from the new copyright holder.)

* Copyright law may categorically exclude the work. This is often the
  case if the work was produced by the USA government, but not always.

> and, does anyone possesses the copyright of creations of 
> old/ancient leterator ? I think no.

How ancient is the literature? You may be safe if it is *all* created
before the existence of copyright anywhere, *and* you are not working
from a modern modification (such as translation).

> However, those content were collected, edited, and verified by 
> wikipedia/wikiquotes ...

Mechanical transformation – i.e. with no human creative action – is
usually deemed not to cause a new copyright to exist. Pasting text into
Wikiquote would not, IMO, cause a new copyright.

If something creative – such as compilation and selection, or
translation – was done, copyright in the result exists with someone
specific (probably not Wikimedia).

 \       “… one of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was |
  `\        that, lacking zero, they had no way to indicate successful |
_o__)                  termination of their C programs.” —Robert Firth |
Ben Finney <ben@benfinney.id.au>

Reply to: