Re: Licensing and copyright

On Fri, 2004-02-20 at 10:23 +0100, Jean-Michel POURE wrote:

> Le Jeudi 19 Février 2004 21:34, Rob Adams a écrit :
> > The FSF has some general guidelines on prudent measures for handling
> > copyright for GPL projects, but GNOME does not seem to follow these
> > guidelines.  For example, the FSF recommends for many GNU projects that
> > contributors assign their copyrights to the FSF to make enforcement of
> > the GPL easier.
> Dear Rob,
> Are you asking if it makes sense to assign copyrights (owned by individuals 
> scattered in several countries, protected by their local constitutional and 
> author rights in more than 200 different countries)
> ...
> to ONE SINGLE organization registered in the U.S.A. ?

Yes, the country with the most powerful copyright law. Who woulda thunk

> In my opinion and I can only speak for myself, it seems more interesting to 
> take advantage of local laws (European, Indian, Brazilian, etc...).

Why not take advantage of *all* of them?

> I like the FSF and I the United-States for several reasons. But I do not trust 
> the American laws, because they do not respect individual liberties.

Maybe so (this is not the list on which to discuss individual
liberties), but American copyright law is giving more power to copyright
owners every day.

> The day that you hand over your author rights to an American organization, you 
> will not be able to travel safely in the States and may get arrested for any 
> reason, including the DMCA.

It is possible that you will be extradited before traveling
willingly . . .

> Is that what you are proposing to us?
> Furthermore, but this is only a very small issue: the notion of copyright is 
> completely different in the States and in Europe. In France, for example, you 
> cannot hand over a copyright forever or should at least get paid for it. In 
> most countries, handing over copyrights forever is not permitted. 

Of course handing over copyright forever is not permitted. Copyright
falls into the public domain eventually. Unfortunately, John Ashcroft
has now extended the time before copyright falls into the public domain
*even further*. However, for copyright owners, this is seen as a good

> On the converse, it seems relevant that American citizen hand over their 
> copyrights to the FSF if they wish to. It may be safer for them.

Of course. I doubt that any citizen wishes to pay the legal fees
necessary in complex cases involving intellectual property.

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