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I heard privately from Till Jaeger, a German lawyer, who wrote this
(published with his permission):<br>
"Under German law the Unlicense would work as a license. The
intention of the<br>
text is obvious and I see no reason for any problems.<br>
Even more, it is the prevailing opinion that even without such
language a public domain dedication needs to be interpreted as a
without license conditions (but moral rights still apply). Of
is not true for works which are in the public domain based on other
than a decision of the copyright owner (works from public
are not protected because of local law)."<br>
He tells me that this position is stated in his book <i>Open Source
<a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href="https://www.beck-shop.de/jaeger-metzger-open-source-software/product/26549144">https://www.beck-shop.de/jaeger-metzger-open-source-software/product/26549144</a>.<br>
<div class="moz-signature">Pamela S. Chestek<br>
PO Box 2492<br>
Raleigh, NC 27602<br>
<a class="moz-txt-link-abbreviated" href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a><br>
<a class="moz-txt-link-abbreviated" href="http://www.chesteklegal.com">www.chesteklegal.com</a><br>
<div class="moz-cite-prefix">On 5/16/2020 5:59 AM, Matija Šuklje
<blockquote type="cite" cite="mid:1722221.bhtF3C78IN@hermes">
<pre class="moz-quote-pre" wrap="">Die 15. 05. 20 et hora 20:33 Pamela Chestek scripsit:
<pre class="moz-quote-pre" wrap="">There are lots of lawyers on the list; if any thought that the position
had merit I would have expected that person to pipe up.
<pre class="moz-quote-pre" wrap="">
I’ll bite … writing in my private capacity, as a Slovenian lawyer.
TL;DR: looks fine to me
The Slovenian Zakon o avtorski in sorodnih pravicah [ZASP] (Copyright and
Related Rights Act)¹ is pretty similar to the German one, and it shares with
France the inability of a full copyright assignment (mostly due to moral
rights not being transferable) as well as the inability to dedicate something
to the public domain.
Now, if we were to look at only the law act’s text itself, first thing of note
is that the public domain is not mentioned even once. It is implicit in the
ZASP §58, which dictates that the copyright protection ceases after the
appropriate amount of time lapses (typically 70 years after death – see §59
ZASP §73 and below handle copyright contract law – which talks about exclusive
and non-exclusive assignments (odd choice of words, I agree) of individual
ZASP §80 handles the needed formalities for such an “assignment” (exclusive or
non-exclusive) of economic and other author’s rights – and the only one is
that it needs to be in written form. Any noncompliance with the formality,
all controversial or unclear stipulations are to be interpreted in favour of
the author. The Unlicense is very much in written form.
Interestingly enough, the Copyright and Related Rights Act only covers
statutory licenses, so for a license agreement we need to look into the
general Obligacijski zakonik [OZ] (Obligations Code)², which in turn oddly
enough talks only about “the right to exploit a patented invention, technical
know-how or experience, or a trademark, pattern or model”, not copyright. But
it is assumed it covers copyright licenses as well.
There you will again find (in OZ §705) the only formality is that a license
agreement needs to be in written form. Which with Unlicense is the case.
So I would argue under Slovenian law the formality is met.
You also need to remember that esp. if you think about artists, a lot of not
just licenses, but even full assignments happen in very sloppy ways. It is all
a very messy business, and in the computer industry we tend to be (sometimes a
bit too) organised and clean.
The next question is the content then.
As mentioned before, in Slovenia you cannot assign something to the public
domain, so that stipulation’s dead.
But the second paragraph:
”Anyone is free to copy, modify, publish, use, compile, sell, or distribute
this software, either in source code form or as a compiled binary, for any
purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and by any means.”
So, does paragraph cover enough rights to be FOSS?
0. Use? – check
1. Study? – check
2. Share? – check
3. Improve? – check
seems well enough for me as a unilateral license agreement/assignment of those
individual economic author’s rights to “anyone”.
The third paragraph is a bit weird, and would probably be subject to
interpretation on what the author(s) meant with it – but I would wager a
reasonable interpretation would be that the (obviously) lay person drafting
this license/dedication intended their code to be 1) released into the public
domain, and where that is not possible, semi-implicitly 2) everyone is given
the individual rights as described in paragraph 2.
In any case the moral rights remain untouched, but according to ZASP §§17-20,
those that apply to computer programs are:
• right to the first disclosure
• right to recognition (or not) as the author
• right to integrity of the work, if such tampering could be prejudicial to
the author’s person
I would be very surprised if Unlicense did not get interpreted as a valid
copyright license/“non-exclusive assignment” here.
Granted, it is not the best worded license out there, but it meets the legal
formality and does mention the individual rights.
Would I suggest using Unlicense? Hell no. CC0-1.0 does a way better job at
achieving the same thing.
But I find it extremely hard to interpret it in any other way than it is a
valid FOSS license in my jurisdiction.
1 <a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href="http://www.pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO403#">http://www.pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO403#</a>
<a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href="http://www.uil-sipo.si/fileadmin/upload_folder/zakonodaja/">http://www.uil-sipo.si/fileadmin/upload_folder/zakonodaja/</a>
2 <a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href="http://www.pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO1263">http://www.pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO1263</a>
<a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href="http://www.uil-sipo.si/fileadmin/upload_folder/zakonodaja/povezano/">http://www.uil-sipo.si/fileadmin/upload_folder/zakonodaja/povezano/</a>