jcowan at reutershealth.com
Thu Feb 22 16:30:09 UTC 2001
David Johnson wrote:
> 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,
If the code base is under the GNU GPL, I have heard it suggested that
assigning copyright to the FSF is sensible (even without their
consent), since they have lawyers and a vested interest in defending
I don't know what view the FSF takes of this idea.
> while the idealistic side says that it was
> incredibly presumptious even to ask.
I'm confused. Do you suspect that it is presumptuous to ask for a
copyright assignment (it isn't), or that it was presumptuous for
your contributor to offer one?
> Was this the legal/ethical thing to do?
Yes. The fact that your contributor freely consented to it
> 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
Absent a contract, the law is silent on this. Hacker ethics demand that
you preserve credit for the contributor in the final product. Whether
you consider your contributor to be a co-author is a matter of taste,
and probably should depend on how substantial the contribution is.
Ya done good, kid.
There is / one art || John Cowan <jcowan at reutershealth.com>
no more / no less || http://www.reutershealth.com
to do / all things || http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
with art- / lessness \\ -- Piet Hein
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