Assigning copyright

Bjorn Andersson bjorn at
Thu Feb 22 10:21:49 UTC 2001

On Wed, Feb 21 2001, at 22:11:52 -0800, David Johnson wrote:
> Since I can't locate the archives anywhere, could someone either point me to 
> them or offer a recap of a prior discussion?

I have been looking for the archive myself, and asked for it on this
mailing list, but no one responded. I set up an unofficial archive,
most for my own use, on
There is no guarantee that this archive will exist forever, be in
the same location, or be publicly availabe. But as long as it works,
you are welcome to use it. 

The first mail in the archive is dated 17 January 2001.

A search engine for the list (and other archived lists) is at

> Not too long ago we were discussiing assigning copyrights to a project. This 
> subject has since entered my reality and bit me on the rump :-) I'm not sure 
> if that discussion covered my questions, so I'll sum them up.

I am interested in the subject myself, but have missed the
thread. If you find it, could you please tell me which thread it

> I now have in my possession a contributed piece of code with an emailed 
> agreement to assign the copyright to me (since there is no umbrella 
> organization to assign it to). The pragmatic part of me says that this is the 
> legally sensible thing to do, while the idealistic side says that it was 
> incredibly presumptious even to ask. Was this the legal/ethical thing to do? 
> And now that it's done, how does it actually get implemented? Do I refer to 
> the contributor/author as a contributor or an author? yada yada yada

What examples are there of commercial companies that have asked
contributors to assign them the copyright? TrollTech, (former) Cygnus
Solutions? Are there examples of the agreements? How does the open
source community relate to assigning the copyright to a company? Are
there alternatives to giving away the copyright, such as licensing
under a very liberate license to the company?


Bjorn Andersson <bjorn at>                       +358 50 341 2556
Lifix Systems Oy <>                 PGP id 5AFC144B
Yliopistonkatu 5, 3rd floor; FIN-00100 Helsinki

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