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Re: [HACKERS] Copyright

From: Philip Warner <pjw(at)rhyme(dot)com(dot)au>
To: Bruce Momjian <pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us>
Cc: The Hermit Hacker <scrappy(at)hub(dot)org>, "Ross J(dot) Reedstrom" <reedstrm(at)wallace(dot)ece(dot)rice(dot)edu>, Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>, Peter Eisentraut <peter_e(at)gmx(dot)net>, PostgreSQL Development <pgsql-hackers(at)postgreSQL(dot)org>
Subject: Re: [HACKERS] Copyright
Date: 2000-01-29 06:01:41
Message-ID: 3.0.5.32.20000129170141.00cf5e40@mail.rhyme.com.au (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-hackers
At 00:42 29/01/00 -0500, Bruce Momjian wrote:
>> What matters is that it remains open, free, and modifiable by anyone, for
>> any purpose.
>> 
>> This does bring up the larger question of what happened to the original
>> copyrights? Is this covered in Bruce's upcoming book?
>
...etc...
>
>This all started because I asked about copyright issues around Christmas
>(as someone reminded me), and we agreed to copyright the code via
>PostgreSQL Inc.  Now that we have done that, it seems we may have a
>little more to do.

It's probably a little more than just putting the notices in the code. In
Australia, copyright rests with the writer unless it is explicitly granted
in writing to another entity by the author, or unless a singed contract of
service exists which grants copyright of works performed directly in the
course of performing those service.

If the US & Canada are similar, the upshot of this is that you'll need to
get the contributors (and Berkely) to sign their copyrights over to
PosgreSQL, Inc, before you can lawfully place those copyright notices in
the code. I would *guess* that there would be some resistance to this.

It's a hell of a lot simpler to leave the copyright with the authors, who
then grant usage under a GPL/LGPL or whatever. Or, set up an arms-length
entity designed to promote free distribution of PostgreSQL that authorsd
may feel happy about assigning their copyrights to.

Again, just my 0.02c, but copyright is a very thorny issue designed to
protect authors - it's a pity to take that away from them. I am very happy
that the copyright of the code I have contributed to, eg, the GD graphics
library remains with me, but that it can be freely used & distributed in
GD. I would not want to sign my rights to that code away, then be told by
the person that buys GD from Tom Boutell that I am no longer permitted to
use the code I wrote.



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