[License-discuss] [Non-DoD Source] Re: US Army Research Laboratory Open Source License proposal

Karan, Cem F CIV USARMY RDECOM ARL (US) cem.f.karan.civ at mail.mil
Mon Jul 25 13:21:58 UTC 2016

> -----Original Message-----
> From: License-discuss [mailto:license-discuss-bounces at opensource.org] On 
> Behalf Of Maarten Zeinstra
> Sent: Saturday, July 23, 2016 3:51 AM
> To: license-discuss at opensource.org
> Subject: [Non-DoD Source] Re: [License-discuss] US Army Research Laboratory 
> Open Source License proposal
> Is that the correct interpretation of the Berne convention? The convention 
> assigns copyright to foreigners of a signatory state with at least
> as strong protection as own nationals. Since US government does not attract 
> copyright I am unsure if they can attract copyright in other
> jurisdictions.
> I am of the belief that the US government does not get assigned copyright in 
> other jurisdiction as it is not a right holder in the country of
> origin.
> Or am I misunderstanding the Berne Convention?

I honestly don't know.  The ARL lawyer I'm working with thinks that the USG 
may have foreign copyright, but he says that until it has been litigated and 
settled in court (and I don't know which country's courts that will be in), 
there's no way to know for certain.  We're assuming that the USG will have 
copyright in countries other than the USA because it requires us to think of 
the most difficult scenario from the point of view of creating a license; and 
as my lawyer friend keeps explaining to me, "you don't need an air-tight 
contract until you get sued, and then if you don't have one, it's too late". 
Basically, we're trying to prevent headaches when we don't even know if it's 
even possible for them to come up.  I hope that explains why we're taking the 
position we are.

Cem Karan
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