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Re: (end of) Development and documentation in Debian

On Mon, Oct 02, 2006 at 04:37:14PM -0700, Steve Lamb wrote:
> hendrik@topoi.pooq.com wrote:
> > In international copyright law, there are rights belonging to the author 
> > that he cannot sign away.  These include the right to be considered the
> > author.  This means that if the document mentions him as author (perhaps 
> > on a title page) it is illegal to change that to, say, a different name.

This is, I believe, the meaning behind the rather cryptic comment I've 
seen on some RAQs that "the rights of the author have been asserted".
Can anyone confirm this?

>     I'd love to see how this flies considering the large corpus of work where
> the author is most certainly not known to the audience by the document.  For
> example any of the Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" series of
> books.  That is unless you believe the author's name is "Lemony Snicket".  Or
> _Dreams Come Due_ by John Galt, the character from Ayn Rand's _Atlas
> Shrugged_, if you prefer a non-fiction example.
>     Sure, in both cases one can't just take the books, change the author name
> and viola, have a new book.  But that isn't the same as being considered the
> author as neither book list the true author.  Of course those are simple
> cases.  There are much harder examples which are commonplace where there are
> writers who write for well-known authors and never get credited for their
> work.  It is not an uncommon practice.

The fact that someone has a right does not mean that he has to exercise 
that right.  But if he insists on being recognised as the author, he has 
to be granted that recognition, and you cann't take it away by contract 
or otherwise.  This has little to do with copyright, though.  He can 
sign that away, no problem.

By the way, I'm told that when the U.S. "ratified" this convention, they 
added a clause to the effect that this inalienable right can be signed 
away, thereby making the whole concept irrelevant, at least in the U.S.

-- hendrik

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