Freeing my code... need some guidance

Simon turner25 at
Sun Jan 11 17:14:43 UTC 2009

David Woolley wrote:
> 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.

Yes, you are right.  But I am employed as a sales rep (for short) and whatever 
deals with IP in my contract was far from being as thorough as in a programmer's 

>> 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.)

So, I would have to look more for a kind of license agreement, which has the 
power to bind my employer to this "sharing" idea... right?  I believe a license 
agreement is really like both a license and a contract in one?

>> 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.

Ok, thanks for this.

>> 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.

Ok, yes i see how the word "author" could be more precise.

>> 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".

Actually, since we are talking here about some kind of communal development.  I 
think using a versioning system like git would help a lot here in identify what 
was written by who.  The license would have the copyrights and for more 
precision, feel free to dig in the PGP signed patches all these copyright owners 
have sent.  I think git really addresses well this specific idea.


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