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Re: RFS: fluid-soundfont -- Fluid (R3) General MIDI SoundFont

On Wed, 2008-02-20 at 19:11 +0000, Toby Smithe wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 20, 2008 at 7:04 PM, Neil Williams <codehelp@debian.org> wrote:
> >
> >  He also specifies a number of extra people - some of whom are likely to
> >  be copyright holders - that you didn't know about beforehand. (The lack
> >  of full details for some of them makes things awkward - the best you can
> >  do is quote this in debian/copyright as "from the upstream author".)
> These are people who have contributed, yes. I'm not sure if that means
> they are copyright holders:

Very difficult to tell - if those people had any input into how the
sounds were created, how the initial sounds were improved or various
other unknowable stages in the process of getting an idea into a binary
file in the upstream release, they are copyright holders. Copyright
works by default - unless you explicitly reassign it, anyone who
modifies a work has copyright over that modification, whether or not
they choose to say so. It's left to courts to work out which
modifications are "significant" and 'size' is not particularly relevant,
it comes down to the affect of the modification on the work as a whole.

In software, I would not expect to acknowledge the hardware providers
but in art (especially music), if a work required a particular piece of
equipment from someone, that person is likely to expect and get
accreditation and could legally block release of the eventual work if
they happen to disagree with the licence chosen.

>  Frank has been claiming copyright on
> FluidR3 since 2002, and as far as I can tell, he is correct in doing
> so. However, I hope it won't block inclusion; especially if I quote it
> in debian/copyright.

It is v.rare that a large, stable, project can be exclusively the
copyright of just one individual. Free software developers share code,
that's why they choose to write free software, so even if I haven't
written a line of code in a project, I can be a copyright holder because
my code has been copied into that project under the terms of the licence
I chose. Ian Jackson is a copyright holder of deb-gview (a Debian native
package) despite never committing any changes to the actual codebase
himself because I copied some code from dpkg to ensure smooth operation
with .deb files.

Quote the note from upstream in debian/copyright and I can't see a
problem. Leave it out and the ftp-masters could legitimately reject the


Neil Williams

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