Re: License for EVM?

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Fri Aug 15 2003 - 12:43:28 CDT

"Alan Dechert" <adechert@earthlink.net> wrote:
|This is a collaborative effort. It might be worth it to get some legal
|opinion on this, but I don't think any individual can legally make the
|claim that the code belongs to them. Frankly, David, I'm just not
|concerned about this threat. I don't think it will happen and even if
|it did, such a claim would have no merit.

Such a claim absolutely, and unambiguously, has legal merit. In a joint
work, each contributor has an independent copyright interest in the
work. Publication can only be authorized with the consent of EACH AND
EVERY contributor. This is true of a book, and article, a drawing...
and of a software system. E.g.:

    http://www.bitlaw.com/copyright/ownership.html

As things currently exist, I could send an (enforcable) cease-and-desist
letter to UC, or whoever conducted the demo, demanding they not use my
copyrighted code in their demo. I could probably win damages by
pointing to the commercialization potential I would lose in this
publication of my code. For that matter, I could probably legally send
a DMCA cease-and-desist to sourceforge demanding files be taken down.
Moreover, since my contribution so far has largely been in design of the
file formats and MVC architecture, you'd have to change quite a lot to
remove my contributions (even though they don't amount to much in terms
of my time). Fortunately for EVM2003, my Gnosis Utilities, which is an
important library component of the system, is explicitly released to the
public domain, hence avoiding any possible legal claim against its use.

Now of course, playing the odds, I'm not very likely to send a C-and-D.
And Anand seems like a nice guy, and so does Matt, and Jack, and Matteo.
We're all warm and cuddly, and all that. But if the project properly
said "All code released to PD" or "All code GPL" or the like, the issue
goes away entirely, and in principle.

Yours, David...

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Received on Sun Aug 31 23:17:09 2003

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