Freeing my code... need some guidance

Simon turner25 at
Sun Jan 11 16:36:19 UTC 2009

I'm sorry once more for having misled you guys....  replies in text below.

David Woolley wrote:
> Simon wrote:
>> My employer must also have no rights to remove my own rights on those 
>> files and they should become "their property" (as my contract says), but 
> As noted by others, you may well not have any rights on them in the 
> first place.

I currently have all rights, I have never shared this code.  The only computers 
on which the code reside are in my possession and the only exception is I put an 
old version of it on my best friend's pc...  I am thinking on opening to the 
world, I wish to share it and if you read my other post (i prefer not to be too 
redundant) you'll see the philosophy that I seek in sharing.  Basically, to give 
near-full freedom to everyone that gets a copy of the code, with a major 
exception concerning my employer while I am employed.

>> they would still be limited to the rights in the license.
>>   In other words, I wish that everybody has all the rights on my code 
>> and software with the exception to remove the rights I or others have 
>> on it and with the exception they have to keep a trace of my name as 
>> the original author (...based on the works of Simon...).
> Depending on where you live (basically, whether you live in the EU), you 
> may have "moral rights", which include the right to be identified as the 
> author, as well as property rights.  However, even then software may be 
> a special case; I vaguely remember that UK law excludes software from 
> moral rights.

I wish my memory was in better shape.  I used to have a course at the university 
on something like "IT Law"...  it mostly talked about copyright as this is the 
most powerful type of protection.  If I understand correctly, a license is like 
an upgrade to a copyright.  It also talked about patents, but I don't intend to 
patent anything, however, I am interested in being protected in case me or one 
of my contributors (in future) include something that infringes a patent (i 
would be ok with removing the code and providing public excuses, but I'd rather 
like to avoid being sued or having to pay anything).  I do not remember anything 
that mentioned "moral" rights.  In fact, one thing I remember is the "brutality" 
behind the copyright when it changes hands for example.  I said brutality 
because to me it felt like, one day you're the star who made this true, and the 
next you never existed, the big company that bought your code is the star.

>>   But there is 2 things that I still wonder about:
>> 1) I would like other authors to be added at my side, so anybody 
>> should have to right to modify the copyright to include their own 
>> names, stating they authored some parts of the code.
> Substituting "copyright owners" for authors, that is a requirement for 
> many licenses (e.g. GPL), probably necessary to get proper copyright 
> protection, and certainly best practice.

Very interesting choice of words.  I understand it now.  I read other licenses 
generalize the term author as "originator of the work".

For, whoever contributes to the original work and share it with me, I will make 
sure to add their name near the copyright as co-authors... so my license would 
probably look like:

Copyright 2009  Simon
Co-authored by Bob 2010 (encryption wrapper)
Co-authored by Bill 2011 (database communication)

Is this correct, say at the top of a 3-BSD license?  Or should I rather have a 
file called LICENSE with just the copyright line and the rest of the license, 
and another called CREDITS with the co-authors maybe?

>> 2) What about the contract I signed with my employer that says something 
> "Work for hire" is also part of statute law, so the contract may well 
> only be restating what is already the case.

Ok, in any case, I do understand that what I create at work is theirs.  What I 
bring from the outside, if it is licensed already, may not be theirs... only the 
derivatives made at work (if it's 3bsd licensed for example).  That I would need 
a special type of agreement on paper stating anything different from this (like 
defining how we are going to share the derivatives done at work and at home).

Thanks a lot,

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