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Re: [Koha-devel] copyright holder

From: MJ Ray
Subject: Re: [Koha-devel] copyright holder
Date: Wed, 04 Jul 2007 03:09:01 +0100
User-agent: Heirloom mailx 12.2 01/07/07

"Thomas Dukleth" <address@hidden> wrote: [...]
> The hazard under United States copyright law is that any joint author
> could relicense the work as a whole without consultation under any license
> with only the obligation to provide royalties to the other authors. 

This goes against what I've been told so often, so I hope you don't
mind me getting a second opinion.

> The GPL frees us from worry about the derivative works problem as long as
> all dependencies allow licensing under the version of the GPL being used
> in the project.
> Just released GPL 3 and AGPL 3 when it is released will allow even broader
> linking with software under other non-GPL licenses.  [...]

This has the drawback of continuing the license soup.  In a way, I
don't mind that, but I'm surprised that FSF are finally weakening the
GPL's strong copyleft.  It's disappointing that it's weakened to allow
the possible AGPL'ing of GPL'd software's output.

> I will have much more to say about the merits of GPL 3 and AGPL 3 for both
> users and developers at a later time.  [...]

At that time, I will have much more to say about the drawbacks of
applying licence terms to Koha's output in the way that AGPL does.  I
feel that The Only Way drum is being banged a bit hard about this. In
essence, if III or whoever wants to spend time studying and adapting
Koha code (within the current copyleft terms) into their system, good
luck to them.  While they're watching us, let's be watching the road
ahead and blazing the trail, making the money!

> The only way to resolve the problems of the category of multiple
> authorship for software projects is to have copyright assignments to a
> trusted entity with a grant back of rights for authors' own individual
> contributions.

It's The Only Way drum again :-( Couldn't we (for example) assign
rights among ourselves by territory, with other cooperation
agreements?  Not saying we will go that way, but Assign To Daddy
doesn't seem the only obvious model.

Also, I will check, but I thought most countries had unassignable
rights which means that the authors will necessarily be involved in
any copyright case anyway.

> In the absence of any other organisation, I am happy to consider that
> Kohala may be a suitable entity.  Kohala does have the advantage of being
> based in a country which has not yet become a regime which recognises
> business method and software patents.

It may be, but it is not yet one.  I would want to see Kohala have a
form similar to a English Community Interest Company or secondary
cooperative, so we know it can't trade in unfair competition with us
on the reserves (our copyrights) which we'd give it.

Hope that explains,
MJ Ray - see/vidu http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html
Experienced webmaster-developers for hire http://www.ttllp.co.uk/
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