Jeremy Utley jeremy at jutley.org
Mon Oct 25 20:06:32 PDT 2004

On Mon, October 25, 2004 7:23 pm, Bruce Dubbs said:
> 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
> wrote:
>> 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 :) ).

Sounds like this is the case, although as AllParadox always says on
Groklaw, if you want a real legal opinion, go hire one :)  Personally, I
don't think any prior LFS editor would have an issue with a re-license, as
long as the new license maintained the "Open-Source Spirit," and allowed
derivative works (with attribution).

Gerard, does there exist anywhere a full list of all former LFS Book
editors?  I know most of the ones that have been active since my time
being involved in the project, but I don't know much about what happened
prior to that, and I think putting something together that gives some
credit to ALL former editors, in one place (perhaps a page on the website
or something) would be a good thing, giving credit where credit is due,
and so forth...LFS wouldn't be what it is today without those who came
before us.


>   -- Bruce
> --
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