Bruce Dubbs bdubbs at swbell.net
Mon Oct 25 19:23:04 PDT 2004

Jeremy Utley wrote:

>IMHO, and IANAL, once you accepted contributions from those other than
>yourself, without gaining copyright assignment on those contributions,
>those contributions are still copyright the original submitter.  This is
>why MySQL, FSF, and others require copyright assignment on all
>contributions to their open-source projects.
>Matthew brings up a good point - copyright law is specifically written to
>prevent "accidental" assignment of copyright to another party - see recent
>Groklaw discussions regarding the copyright ownership dispute between SCO
>and Novell for further info - I'm paraphrasing PJ's excellent discourse on
>that subject.
>As a current LFS developer, I also would not have any issues with changing
>the license to something more OSI friendly - like Matthew has said, I've
>always thought the Creative Commons licenses are a good documentation

I'm not so sure about your conclusions.   LFS and BLFS are primarily 
documentation, not software.  There is a small amount of software, in 
source only format, in the scripts and patches.  As I've said in private 
messages, the books need to have two licenses.  In an earlier message, I 

> My personal feeling is that the code/patches should be done under an 
> academic license such as the Academic Free License 
> (http://www.opensource.org/licenses/afl-2.1.php) and the text of the 
> book use the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 
> License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/)

LFS and BLFS are also a Joint Work:
    "A joint work prepared by two or more authors with the intention 
that their contributions be merged into inseparable or interdependent 
parts of a unitary whole."  (17 U.S.C para 101.)

Note:  U.S.C.  stands for United States Code and is the fundamental US Law.

According to Lawrence Rosen, a contribution to a joint work is owned by 
all its authors jointly.  Any one of the authors can relicense a joint 
work without consulting the others.  (It might irritate them, however :) )

So, AFAICT, the books can be relicensed without asking each author 
individually.  However, as with any legal issue, things can be argued 
multiple ways.  Computers are so much easier.  They always to exactly 
what you tell them (but not always what you intend :) ).
  -- Bruce

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