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Re: Copyright vs Open Source


From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: Copyright vs Open Source
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 10:05:17 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (gnu/linux)

Mike Jervis <address@hidden> writes:

> David,
>
> Thanks for taking the time to reply.
>
> On Sep 14, 9:31 pm, David Kastrup <address@hidden> wrote:
>> The way you are describing it sounds like they are changing a copyright
>> notice to an attribution.
>> They can claim copyright for portions they wrote.  The copyright notice
>> would then read
>
> OK, I think they're borderline clear then, an (edited for
> anonymisation of third parties) copy/paste from their VC shows:
>
>     9 // | Copyright (C) 2002-2008 by the following
> authors:                        |

2002 here would be incorrect.

>    10 //
> |
> |
>    11 // | A Forder          foker AT fork DOT
> com                          |
>    12 //
> |
> |
>    13 // | Based on the Original Project
> Name                                                 |
>    14 // | Copyright (C) 2000-2008 by the following
> authors:                        |
>    15 //
> |
> |
>    16 // | Authors: Michael Jervis     - mike AT [my excentric domain
> name] DOT com                |
>
> Technically, this particular file was created by me in 2004.

They should specify the copyright years that you declared, since
copyright is time-limited, so it is important to record when the rights
of individuals are going to run out.  They can't just make some
arbitrary summary notice.  I think it is not actually permitted to
change _any_ part of your original copyright declaration since that is
falsification of legal information.

> Since forking the following code has been added:

>    45 if (stripos ($_SERVER['PHP_SELF'], 'filename.class.php') !==
> false) {
>    46     die ('This file can not be used on its own.');
>    47 }

> In my personal opinion that doesn't make it clear that the copyright
> rests with me. But like I said, it's a bit border line.

I am afraid that you'll need to ask a lawyer for that.  It looks
somewhat misleading to me, but if you are going to complain, you should
spell out what is wrong with their copyright notice, and what sort of
notice would be exactly required.  And only a lawyer would know that for
sure.  If your work was GPLed, you might enquire at the FSF and have a
chance that they'll tell you without cost.  Possibly also at the SFLC.

-- 
David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum


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