Licensing a python module

John Cowan cowan at
Thu Apr 24 16:07:23 UTC 2008

Ben Tilly scripsit:

> Doublecheck that "usually, by default."  Matthew is completely right
> about jurisdiction mattering.  If you live in New York then by default
> it belongs to your lawyer.  

That's pretty funny, but you should really use a smiley face, or someone
might just take it literally.

But then again the intersection of the over-broad U.S. copyright law and
the over-broad New York statute produces some bizarre results: the copyright
in the grocery list you scribble down belongs to your employer, and if
you copy items from it to a later grocery list, you are theoretically
liable to your employer for infringement.

> the module in your own time on your own equipment, then you own it by
> default.  

I'm proud (as well as relieved) to say that my employer, a California
for-profit but don't-be-evil corporation, extends this benefit
of California law to all its employees, even those like me in less
civilized jurisdictions.  (This is done by a special page in the contract
of employment.)

John Cowan    cowan at
We want more school houses and less jails; more books and less arsenals;
more learning and less vice; more constant work and less crime; more
leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of
the opportunities to cultivate our better natures.  --Samuel Gompers

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