Sam> Under US law ...
Well, we are under international copyright here.
My observation was that "Mailing Lists" (Debian's
or otherwise) are suddenly claiming copy-rights
as if they were officially registered periodicals,
and that such a claim is not legal.
Please note that we are talking about "mail" here
(we are not talking about "articles" or other forms
of literature), and mail is subject to more strict
rules withing the general copyright code. Mail is
in fact private, in the US as well as any modern
country. In the UK, for example, there are only
two person who can read an addressed mail: the
receiver and the Queen. By posting to a "mailing
list", you are posting to a number of people;
it is like making a xerox of your mail, then post
it to a number of people. The mere fact that you
are posting to 100 friends rather than 1, does not
make your mail a journal article. The fact that
your mail is in electronic form rather than ink
on paper, does not make your mail a journal article.
The fact that one of these people may be the
editor of a journal, for example, does not entitle
this person to publish your mail in his journal.
Electronic-Mail is Mail. As such, it is private,
unless there is an "explicit agreement" that says
otherwise. In the specific case with Debian,
there was and there is no "explicit agreement"
that entitles Debian to archive the mail we were
and we are posting to each other.
On "www", by putting the mail online Debian is
actually publishing the mail, and this can not
be done, unless there is an explicit agreement
that authorizes Debian to do so.
Given the importance of this discussion, and
the fact that it may be indeed of-topic for the
"www" and "list" lists, I invite the interested
correspondents to post to "legal". As I am not
subscribed to any of them, please Cc to my mail
>Subject: Re: request
>From: Sergio Brandano <email@example.com>
>Date: Sat, 05 May 2001 16:02:33 +0100
>Cc: Sergio Brandano <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Gerfried Fuchs
> Do you read all the agreements you sign?
Of course I do. And if I do not like an agreement,
I simply do not sign it.
In the case with Debian, there is no such agreement;
as if there where one such agreement, then any material
posted in its lists would be a Debian copyrighted
material, i.e. it would display a "(c) Debian" in it.
The author of any past and present Debian posts is
still the owner of the copyrights, and can withdraw
his posts at any time, unless there is some other
special agreement in that sense. Please note that
"agreement" is not something that you have to
accept; an agreement is an act of freedom, and
Debian can not make any claims of ownership based
on the mere fact that an author has sent an email
to a list of people. Please read below.
From: Florian Lohoff
> Why not sending out an text on list subscription where the subscriber
> agrees that his emails will be set under a special license like the
> Open Content which states that the original author has to be named
> which is the case inthe archive as the "From:" line is shown.
> In software we prefer open source and most people even like the GPL
> whereas your contribution to a project is automatically set under the
> GPL. Why not doing the same for the list archive. Its a contribution
> to the Debian Project and IMHO we should treat it the same.
Thank you Florian. This is indeed the right interpretation.
I am glad of your message.