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Re: [HACKERS] Copyright

From: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
To: Thomas Lockhart <lockhart(at)alumni(dot)caltech(dot)edu>
Cc: Philip Warner <pjw(at)rhyme(dot)com(dot)au>, PostgreSQL Development <pgsql-hackers(at)postgreSQL(dot)org>
Subject: Re: [HACKERS] Copyright
Date: 2000-01-29 07:55:56
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-hackers
Thomas Lockhart <lockhart(at)alumni(dot)caltech(dot)edu> writes:
> The original sources, and the modified sources *that we know about*
> (someone could have and probably has taken the source code, modified
> it, and not contributed back the changes) are always fair game to be
> taken out of open source status.

The above could easily be misinterpreted.  I believe the point Thomas
meant to make is that anyone is free to make a derivative version that
they choose not to release as open source.  It does *not* mean that
someone can take away your right to use existing code that was already
released with a Berkeley-style license.

> The original copyrights are still valid and travel with the code.
> However, afaict they are designed to release UC Berkeley from
> liability and to preserve some credit for the original work, not to
> allow Berkeley to assert ownership control over derivative sources
> (into which category I think the current PostgreSQL tree falls, so to
> speak).

Right, and I think that it's past time that the Postgres group (in
the person of PG Inc, or some other entity if that's what a majority
want) explicitly make the same statements that UC Berkeley has made.
Anyone here want to be on the hook for liability when some big
company's database crashes?  Not me...

> I think Marc is concerned that there be someone or something able to
> represent the current code tree, and to prevent hijacking of the
> PostgreSQL (and perhaps Postgres) names from this open source group.

That's actually quite a separate issue.  Trademarking the name
"PostgreSQL" might be a good idea to prevent some random bozo from
claiming ownership of it.  (In reality, I think any attempt by
someone else to register that name as a database trademark at this
point could easily be shot down, but it would be far cheaper to
register the mark pre-emptively than to file suit against someone's
predatory registration.)  Yet ... on the other hand, if it were a
trademark then someone *could* buy it off PG Inc.  If that happened,
we (the community) would still have the rights to use the Postgres code,
but we'd have to find another name for it ;-).

			regards, tom lane

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