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From "Renaud BECHADE" <renaud.bech...@numerix.com>
Subject RE: [Legal] Requirements for Committers
Date Thu, 09 Jun 2005 10:08:32 GMT
>>     Are you employed as a programmer, systems analyst, or other
>>     IT professional?  If so, you may be an commiter
>>     only if your employer either:
>>
>>     a) signs a Corporate Contribution License Agreement with Apache
>>        and lists you as a designated employee or
>>
>>     b) submits a written authorization for your participation in this
>>        project and disclaims any copyright or confidentiality interest
>>        in your current or future contributions to this project.
>
>>To me, this is _way_ too restructive.

... Same in France. Besides, by default, the employer cannot take property
on what is done out of the scope of work [A]; and even in the case when an
employee writes some code out of the scope of his job and at work, some
French justice cases [1] say the work is the employee's. (although it seems
this is up to the judge to decide it...)
All the same, the author's 'droit moral' (moral right [?]) and its most
restrictive interpretation, 'droit de paternite' (paternity right [?]) is 
'perpetuel, inalienable et imprescriptible' (perpetual, not cessible,
unprescriptible; art L212-1, French Intellectual Property Code).

I think we really need to rephrase correctly the legal aspect of the
committer's conditions because such very blatantly impossible to defend kind
of stances are amongst the best ways to have a judge angry... 

Also, "contrats de cession" (sort of "copyright agreements") must be very
precisely phrased but limited in scope [2] lest French courts decide to
break them [3].
All the same with subsequent lease or copyleft, of course [4].

Sorry these are more problems than solutions. 

(please note I am not a lawyer, so you should trust it and die - if you are
interested I can try to find good references in France. As I live in Japan I
leave to our Japanese colleagues the honor to expose the situation in Japan,
which I would be very interested to hear about)

Regards,

RB

[A] When writing code as an employee, French law says the author is not you
but your employer, only and only if it is done under the employer's
directions (this last point being of course spicy to prove or falsify :-) ).
Technically the "property" (droit moral, droit de paternite) is
unprescriptible.
[1] arret Pachot, 7 fev. 1986
[2] L131-3
"La validite d'une trasmission est subordonnee
 a la distinction des droits transferes et a la
 delimitation de leur domaine d'exploitation
 dans l'acte"
[3] TGI Paris, 26 novembre 2002, M. Demont c/ SARL Forever Living Products  
	2004-12-09
	Dossier : Salarié
La personne physique qui cède "en pleine propriété" deux logiciels conçus
avant son embauche obtient la requalification de la cession en droit d'usage
à durée déterminée. Le TGI rappelle le caractère nécessairement explicite de
la cession de droits...
[4] TGI Paris 4 oct 1983
"une sous-license de droit d'auteur sur le logiciel
 consentie en l'absence d'autorisation du titulaire
 du droit constitue une contrefacon".

Other sources:

[Droit de la propriete intellectuelle,
 2eme ed. Jonanna Schmidt-Szalewski, 
 Jean-Luc Pierre Ed. Litec]
[Propriete Litteraire
 et artistique Pierre-Yves Gautier
 4eme ed. PUF Droit]

-----Original Message-----
From: Robin Garner [mailto:robin.garner@anu.edu.au] 
Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2005 4:49 PM
To: harmony-dev@incubator.apache.org
Cc: harmony-dev@incubator.apache.org
Subject: Re: [Legal] Requirements for Committers

> 8) Employment Limitations
>
>     Are you employed as a programmer, systems analyst, or other
>     IT professional?  If so, you may be an commiter
>     only if your employer either:
>
>     a) signs a Corporate Contribution License Agreement with Apache
>        and lists you as a designated employee or
>
>     b) submits a written authorization for your participation in this
>        project and disclaims any copyright or confidentiality interest
>        in your current or future contributions to this project.

To me, this is _way_ too restructive.  While this kind of statement
wouldn't be a problem for me currently, from time to time I've been
employeed by either a large company or the Australian Government, neither
of which have any legal rights to anything I do out of hours, but who
would have conniptions if asked to sign an agreement like this.  Simply
because the pointy haired bosses wouldn't understand what it was about,
and would go into knee-jerk abnegation-of-responsibility mode.

What is wrong with a personal statement confirming that no third party has
a claim on the IP of the contribution.  Seems to work for the CPL, but
then IANAL ...

robin


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