[SVN] Licensing for Bundles?

Jonathan Chaffer jchaffer at structureinteractive.com
Fri May 13 21:10:31 UTC 2005

On May 13, 2005, at 5:00 PM, Jeroen van der Ham wrote:

> On 13-05-2005 22:47, Allan Odgaard wrote:
>> Another option is to put everything in the repository in the public
>> domain, that means no-one has any copyright on the stuff AFAIK (but
>> IANAL).
> I followed the discussion with software patents, creative commons,  
> etc. a
> bit and as far as I understand it, anything you (general you here)  
> write
> automatically falls under your copyright.
> I do not know whether you can actually let go of your copyright, or
> transfer it to someone else. But AFAIK most open source licenses (even
> GPL) keep the copyright with the author, but allow others to use it  
> and
> see it (or even demand certain actions of the user/distributor,  
> like the
> GPL).

The situation varies somewhat depending on country. In general, yes,  
the copyright holder has the ability to transfer the rights to a  
third party. Some countries have the concept of "moral rights" that  
cannot be transferred.

The public domain seems quite appropriate here, where the quantity of  
work is rather small; it avoids any potential headaches with license  
conflicts when the contributions are bundled with the sold software,  
as well.

>> I'm also open to people adding stuff with their own copyright, as   
>> long
>> as they grant me/MacroMates the right to “copy, use, modify,  sell  
>> and
>> distribute” the contributions. But the problem with  individual
>> copyrights is that others may later make modifications to  a  
>> contribution.
> I have no idea how large open source project handle copyrights  
> actually,
> you might have to look there for ideas.
> I think this will mean that we as bundle developers have to  
> transfer the
> copyright to you. So you would have to add some sort of disclaimer  
> to SVN
> read/write access or something.

Some demand copyright assignment; it is somewhat popular to assign  
copyright to the Free Software Foundation itself, if the GPL is being  
used. Others keep copyright with the individual authors. Regardless,  
you still need a disclaimer on SVN; it is not automatic that someone  
uploading code implies that the code may be redistributed.

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