LFS on TLDP

James Robertson jwrober at linuxfromscratch.org
Tue Oct 26 06:32:24 PDT 2004


Jeremy Utley wrote:
> 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 license.

+1 on both points

>> 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/)

I am not familiar with these.  Does TLDP allow them?  If we want to 
participate on TLDP's website, then we should just pick one that they 
already allow.

>> 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).

+1 again

> 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.

James



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