Policy for attribution
Matthew Seth Flaschen
superm40 at comcast.net
Wed Jul 12 03:13:39 UTC 2006
Philippe Verdy wrote:
> Do you know that any media without a clear attribution of its author is illegal in many countries, because it's impossible to assert if the licencing terms are valid, or to contact the true authors to see if the publication was authorized and not simply stolen?
You're referring of course to moral rights. IANAL, but I believe moral
rights are fulfilled by clear copyright notices. I have already
acknowledged the necessity of copyright notices.
> I don't see why attribution is bad, as it really helps protecting the licencing terms of an open-source program[...]
Again, it's not that attribution is bad, but that excessive attribution
is. In my earlier email, I also specifically noted the necessity of
reproducing licenses in all copies.
> But may be we disagree about what is "attribution". For me it's a clear indication of the authors (either initial or contributors) that accepted to licence the content; this indication requires a few things:
> * a clear product name (protected along with the content it designates)
The program name is always in a copyright notice. A notice of trademark
can be incorporated by adding (r) or (tm) after the program name
> * a summary description (of the role of the software, to describe the area of protection of the name and of the content itself)
This is not necessary for copyright or trademark law.
> * a date of first publication
This date, and later dates, are commonly in copyright notices.
> * a clear author name
Again, always in the copyright notice.
>, and a way of contacting him, valid at least at the time of first publication (and preferably during at least 6 months)
This is not legally necessary; in reality, most authors deliberately
fail to provide efficient contact information (e.g. "care of"
addresses), to maintain privacy.
> * the name of other contributors if they want to be listed and did not simply donated all their rights to the initial author
All the others can be in the copyright notice, or more commonly it will
refer to a group of authors listed elsewhere.
>something that should not be needed always as this assistance may be
What the (L)GPL does is deny automatic warranty; it says "THERE IS NO
WARRANTY FOR THE PROGRAM, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW.
EXCEPT WHEN OTHERWISE STATED IN WRITING THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND/OR
OTHER PARTIES PROVIDE THE PROGRAM "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND".
This takes care of the objection that denying all warranty is illegal in
some jurisdictions, as well as allowing distributors to provide
warranties by choice.
It specifically states earlier, "you may at your option offer warranty
protection in exchange for a fee."
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