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From "Justin Erenkrantz" <jus...@erenkrantz.com>
Subject Re: What are we doing about...
Date Wed, 19 Apr 2006 15:34:43 GMT
On 4/19/06, Colm MacCarthaigh <colm@stdlib.net> wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 19, 2006 at 03:19:39AM -0500, William A. Rowe, Jr. wrote:
> > Whoa - that's not correct(!)  Although the details are tricky, and although
> > copyright no longer requires 'registration' of the copyrighted material, you
> > still must claim it or lose it, afaik.  (IANAL)
>
> Nope, not in any signatory to the Berne convention. The Copyright is the
> personal property of the author, or the author's employer if the author
> is acting as an agent of the employer (usually, but that's going into
> employment law).
>
> In most countries, apart from a strict copyright assignment to some
> other person (in the legal sense, including a company), there is no way
> to "lose it", very few jurisdictions have the concept of a public domain
> (the US is an exception here, rather than a rule) and even when they do
> there is no automatic assignment to the PD just because you fail to
> "mark" it as copyrighted.
>
> So where I live, it's simply impossible to extinguish the copyright, the
> best someone could hope for is that I publish a covenant saying anything
> can do anything with it, and that the courts would enforce it as a
> unilateral contract (C.f. Carbolic Smoke Ball for the common law
> precedent - it's a fun case to read). That's pretty much how the ASL
> works here.
>
> IANAL either, but I am studying copyright law ;)

That is most correct.

(For OtherBill's reference, trademarks have to be defended or they are
lost; but not copyright.)

> Nope, in all cases where there is one - it's the lifetime of the
> original author. There are small exceptions, like in the case of
> automated computer generated works, the term is limited from the time of
> creation. So, where I live, our "configure" script copyright would last
> 70 years from the time of creation, rather than 70 years after the death
> of the last author of configure.in.
>
> Otherwise the ownership could keep being re-assigned and the copyright
> would simply never expire.

The issue here is that the ASF as a Foundation doesn't really care
about copyright lengths.  We're very happy to see things hit the
public domain.  Our users won't actually care because it won't matter
to them anyway as they can pretty much do whatever they like with the
code under the ALv2.  ;-)  -- justin

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