Freeing my code... need some guidance

David Woolley forums at
Sun Jan 11 17:02:22 UTC 2009

Simon wrote:
> I currently have all rights, I have never shared this code.  The only 

That would be unusual for someone employed as a programmer in the UK and 
most parts of the USA.

> 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,

A licence is a selective relaxation of your rights.  (A "licence 
agreement", as used for commercial software, is normally a contract, 
which you agree to before you can even access the copy and which waives 
your rights under copyright.)

> 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 

The USA refused to implement moral rights.  The main moral right is the 
right to be acknowledged as the author (even though someone else may own 
the copyright) and the right to not be identified as the author.

> 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.

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

The originator for copyright purposes, which may not be the natural 
person that actually wrote it.

> 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)

The normal formulation would be;

Copyright (c) 2009 Simon .....
Copyright (c) 2010 Bob.....
Copyright (c) 2011 Bill....

Although it would be better to identify exactly which lines each person 
wrote, in case there was a subsequent dispute and one of the people 
tried to withdraw their licence, e.g. by saying what is copyrighted, 
before each instance of "Copyright".

David Woolley
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