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List Archive: gentoo-trustees
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To: gentoo-trustees@g.o
From: Nicholas Jones <carpaski@g.o>
Subject: Re: our copyright assignment form has a number of problems
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 12:10:09 -0500
> to Gentoo.  It further states that "Assignor warrants that Assignor's
> rights in the Work have not been previously assigned, mortgaged or
> otherwise encumbered, and Assignor has full right, power and authority to
> assign all such rights to Gentoo."
>
> It makes no provisions for things like patches, which are committed to CVS
> all the time, but for which the committer has no claim on the copyright.
> There are also a number of images committed to the gentoo repository which
> are used on the web site and which we have no copyright ownership of. 

Seems implicit to me. You have no right to assign things for which
you are not the owner. No reason to state that explicitly. So, I
see no problem here. Worst case, we don't have the copyright for
something we can't have the copyright for.

> ("Assignor") hereby releases and assigns to Gentoo all Assignor's copyrights,
> ownership, and claims for the following items:
> 
> 	source code, object code, screen displays, icons,
> 	documentation, user and developers manuals, authoring,
> 	editing, sound, photography, graphics, animation, musical
> 	composition or arrangement, design, artwork, or layout,
> 	including any advertising, brochures, video, photographs,
> 	films, or computer media relating to the Work.

You can't copyright physical objects... It's for produced or
implemented works derrived from a concept. So neither a hard drive
nor a piece of paper on which something is written qualifies.
I'm pretty sure the (enforcable) intent here is for designs on
media and the like such as The Gentoo Store's labels and the
production of install CDs.

> Additionally, given the way it's currently worded, there's no way I'm
> agreeing to sign it and I certainly encourage everyone else to avoid
> signing it as well.
>
> Corey -- have you made any progress with the IU lawyers in getting them to
> help us with our copyright/IP issues?  We need to see about getting
> alternate counsel to review this document and shore up its weaknesses.
>
> [1] http://www.gentoo.org/proj/en/devrel/copyright/assignment.txt

I don't actually think it's that big of a problem. Extra council
wouldn't be a bad idea though. 

--NJ
p.s. Not a lawyer, but fond of Geico commercials.

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References:
our copyright assignment form has a number of problems
-- Kurt Lieber
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Updated Jun 17, 2009

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