[Incubator] Transfering Code Copyright - restart

rich at richsteele.org rich at richsteele.org
Sun Sep 3 19:40:57 EDT 2006


If the intent is to grant some kind of "community" copyright ownership  
to anyone who is given write access to the repository, this doesn't  
work.  In the US at least (and many other jurisdictions), copyright  
vests in the creator of the work, and any assignment must be in writing.

The converse is also true:  you can't strip someone of their copyright  
simply because they ask to be removed from the repository write access  



Quoting Cameron Shorter <cameron.shorter at gmail.com>:

> While you are discussing OSGeo ownership of code, I'd like to find out
> if Mapbuilder's proposed ownership of code holds water legally.
> This is what is in our LICENSE file:
> Mapbuilder source code is copyright (C) 2006 to the following people:
>   Name                    Login Id
>   ====                    ========
>   Cameron Shorter         camerons
>   Linda Derezinski        derezinski
>   Matthew D. Diez         mattdiez
>   Matthew Perry
>   Michael Jenik           maiqui
>   Mike Adair              madair madair1
>   Nedjo Rogers            nedjo
>   Pat Cappelaere          cappelaere
>   Radim Blazek            rabla
>   Raj Singh               rajsingh
>   Richard Greenwood       rgreenwood
>   Steven M. Ottens        graphrisc steven
>   Tom Kralidis            tomkralidis
> ...
> [LGPL text]
> ...
> It is the intent of this project that all Mapbuilder developers who
> have been given write access to the Mapbuilder code repository and
> have contributed to source code in mapbuilder/lib/* may become
> copyright owners.
> Providing a patch to the mailing list does not give someone the right to
> become a copyright owner (primarily because it is too hard to track).
> Once someone becomes a copyright owner, they do not loose this status
> unless they personally request to be removed from the list of copyright
> owners listed in this file.
> Arnulf Christl wrote:
>> Jody Garnett wrote:
>>> Arnulf Christl wrote:
>>>> Restart discussion "transferring code copyright" is fine, but we   
>>>> can drop the "Contributor Agreement". Correct?
>>> Yes.
>>>>> A couple meetings ago we wanted to know how to peruse assign (c)  
>>>>>  of the GeoTools codebase to the OSGEO foundation, my   
>>>>> understanding was this had to be taken to the board for direction.
>>>>> Has anything come of this, is there a formal process to submit a  
>>>>>  request to the board? What should we do next.
>>>>> Jody
>>>> This issue was relayed to legal and is pending. I put it on board  
>>>>  agenda for a status report and let you know what is going on.
>>> Thank you, I am listed on the contact page so you have a short cut  
>>>  to talk to the geotools community.
>>>> Formal process... Hmm. I think its fine if you put it on the   
>>>> board meeting agenda yourself:
>>>> http://wiki.osgeo.org/index.php/Seventeenth_Board_Meeting
>>> It did not occur to me to set the agenda, since I am not on the   
>>> board I would be more asking someone (like Chris Holmes hint) to   
>>> place this
>>> item on the agenda.
>>>> But probably nobody but the board / cabal knows that this kind of  
>>>>  thing happens every other week. I guess the formal process is to  
>>>>  holler at the board list until we work out *and* communicate how  
>>>>  to do it formally.
>>> As an example I am not on the board email list so CCing these   
>>> replies ensures that they only hear half the conversation :-( Can   
>>> we assume that any board member can act as a good contact point   
>>> (until a formal process is defined)?
>>> Cheers,
>>> Jody
>> Yes.
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> -- 
> Cameron Shorter
> http://cameron.shorter.net
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