Re: Source licensing

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Mon May 10 2004 - 11:31:44 CDT

On May 10, 2004, at 12:13 PM, Douglas W. Jones wrote:
> Copyright, on the other hand, is something we own right now, on
> every thing we produce, and the important thing to do is to assert
> our rights and state explicit license conditions under which the
> material may be reused without bothering us

Yes. Understanding, however, that "we" means "each individual code
contributor who has worked on EVM2003." AFAIK, no assignment of
copyright to OVC or anyone else has occurred.

So, for example, I hold the copyright on evm2003/utils/equiv.py, Jan
holds the copyright on evm2003/utils/getxml.py, and we share copyright
on evm2003/utils/convert.py (though Jan's contribution to this last is
both larger and -better-). Similarly for other files and other
contributors.

All of us uploaded our files to Sourceforge under the understanding
that they would be under EVMPL license (at least I -hope- all
contributors understood this). So while I hold some copyrights, I have
explicitly made copying and modification available on these GPL-like
terms. However, most of the files in EVM2003 fail to contain correct
copyright/license notices within their bodies. Fred talked about
cleaning this up, but I think he got diverted both by more pressing
tasks, and by some side discussion on copyright terms.

> By putting things on the web, we're offering implicit permissions,
> but the boundary around those implicit permissions may be vague.

Well, putting things on Sourceforge makes the ambiguity LESS. The
EVM2003 project page *does* explicitly say that our files shall be
EVMPL. So we kinda -presume- contributors have read that. I think, in
fact, some have not. And some of the source files have a notice of
GPL, but not of EVMPL as such--those developers are certainly on the
same general page, and well meaning, but there's a slight tension here.

Just uploading files to, for example, openvoting.org, gnosis.cx (my
domain) or cavebear.com (Karl's domain) doesn't imply any particular
permissions all by itself. However, I fully intend to release those
source files (e.g. election-entropy.py) that I post to this list into
the public domain. The archive attaches a PD notice to all posts, and
our welcome message informs contributors of such release as a condition
of posting. In contrast, the slight modifications I made to create
http://gnosis.cx/cgi-bin/entropy.cgi are still under my personal
copyright... not because I'm trying to keep the trivial changes
proprietary, but simply because I've never taken an explicit action to
make it otherwise (if anyone asks my permission, I'll certainly be
friendly, but as a legal formality they'd need to ask).

Yours, David...
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Received on Mon May 31 23:17:30 2004

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