Licensing Model: Joint Copyright Assignments

John Cowan cowan at
Tue Apr 15 02:09:46 UTC 2003

Lawrence E. Rosen scripsit:

> Why do you need a copyright assignment at all?  The OSAF's code tree is
> a collective work.  The OSAF will own the copyright in that collective
> work, which you can protect in a copyright infringement lawsuit.  Why
> does OSAF care about the copyrights for the components in the tree as
> long as you have a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free license to use
> those components, copy them, modify them and distribute them as part of
> the OSAF tree or anything else?  

That depends on whether you foresee an infringement of the whole or of
the parts.  Some programs, like old cars, are more valuable for their
components.  In that case, it helps to have someone with an Eben on tap.

> Why should anyone trust Sun (or OSAF, or anyone
> else) with ownership of, and right to defend, their intellectual
> property?

Why, because I believe that Sun or OSAF or FSF has the capability to
take legal action on my behalf that I myself couldn't afford.

John Cowan               cowan at
To say that Bilbo's breath was taken away is no description at all.  There
are no words left to express his staggerment, since Men changed the language
that they learned of elves in the days when all the world was wonderful.
        --_The Hobbit_
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