Copyrights (was: Where is FreeBSD going?)

Narvi narvi at
Fri Jan 9 15:25:34 PST 2004

On Fri, 9 Jan 2004, Rahul Siddharthan wrote:

> Narvi wrote:
> > > We can all be glad that it hasn't mattered and might never matter that
> > > the FreeBSD IP situation is so shabby, I suppose because it sends the
> > > message that it's all essentially a Gentlemen's Agreement, with only a
> > > few violators who are more-or-less tolerated.
> > >
> >
> > It is not clear that there is a way - as things stand - to get to a point
> > where this wouldnot be the case. In appears very doubtful there is such a
> > way unless you can get to get everybody whose code has been ever commited
> > to send in a real written on paper copyright transfer, the chances of
> > which are essentialy 0, even should you be able to trace down all involved.
> Copyright transfer is certainly not required if the code was released
> by the original author under a suitable free software licence
> (BSD/GPL/LGPL or others that permit FreeBSD to redistribute them).
> All that is required is that you retain the author's copyright
> statement in the source files.

Required for what? For use of the code as we are all doing, sure, no

The paragraph above was about his perception of the code being in a shoddy
situation due to apparent attribution of copyright to a body in a way that
does not actually cause the transfer of copyright to said body (whetever
it exists as a legal / physical entity anywhere or not). I just pointed
out that the reversal of such situation is essentialy impossible even if
such was desirable (which I doubt it is) or tried.

And no, IMHO there is no real reason to even try.

> You can of course not do this with copyrighted material in general.
> It is the free software licence that allows you to do it if you abide
> by its conditions.
> If the claim is that there is code in the tree whose licensing status
> is doubtful, you should point out that code.

I have made no such claim - and I heavily doubt there is such code. I did
not make any claims at all about code, only about the copyright ownership
and that it essentialy remains in the hands of the developers. Which is
ok. And no, I don't really think there is much point in having long
discussions over this...

[snip - "umm, yes"]

> Rahul

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