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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: Copyright text, and javadoc license
Date Sun, 06 Mar 2005 05:42:34 GMT

Henri Yandell wrote: 
> 1) Does this apply just to entities (be it IBM or Joe Bloggs) who are
> actively enforcing their copyright via copyright statements, or is every
> commit of a new file or changed file without a copyright notice still
> owned by the committer?

Copyright automatically subsists and it is owned by the author, whoever that
author might be (person or corporate entity), regardless of notice. The
notice allows people to identify the owner. Even if you can't identify the
owner of a copyrighted work, that doesn't mean it isn't owned. Enforcing
that copyright is another thing entirely. Nobody forces the owner to enforce
his copyrights, and he is free to give licenses to whoever he wishes. 

> 2) The simplified explanation I'd been told a few years back (via hearsay,
> lists etc) was that when I commit to Apache, any copy of the code I keep
> for myself is under my copyright whilst the copy I commit to Apache is
> under their ownership. Is this possible? For two copies of the same thing
> to bear different copyright?

No. You may own a copy of software without owning a copyright in it. You may
have a license to do something with software without owning a copyright in
it.

> ... mind-melting ... stuff.

Sorry. :-)

/Larry

Lawrence Rosen
Rosenlaw & Einschlag, technology law offices (www.rosenlaw.com)
3001 King Ranch Road, Ukiah, CA 95482
707-485-1242  ●  fax: 707-485-1243
Author of “Open Source Licensing: Software Freedom 
               and Intellectual Property Law” (Prentice Hall 2004)
 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Henri Yandell [mailto:bayard@apache.org]
> Sent: Saturday, March 05, 2005 9:17 PM
> To: skitching@apache.org; legal-discuss@apache.org
> Subject: RE: Copyright text, and javadoc license
> 
> 
> 
> On Sat, 5 Mar 2005, Lawrence Rosen wrote:
> 
> >> Has there been any progress on the issue of
> >>   "Copyright [yyyy] The Apache Software Foundation or its
> >>   licensors, as applicable"
> >> vs
> >>   "Copyright (c) 2001-2004 - Apache Software Foundation"?
> >
> > During the past few weeks Robyn Wagner, Jennifer Machovec, Jim Barnett
> and I
> > discussed this issue via email. I drafted for their review an email that
> I
> > proposed to send to legal-discuss to summarize the legal requirements
> for
> > copyright notices on Apache works; I now step up to the plate and copy
> that
> > summary below. Both Jennifer and Jim agree that the summary is legally
> > correct, but they worry that the Apache members "want" to do it
> differently.
> > I have suggested that lawyers should tell clients what the law is, but
> it is
> > up to the clients to decide whether to follow the law. So here it is
> (with
> > apologies for its length) for your review and discussion:
> >
> > *************************************
> 
> Thanks for the post. Very interesting (and mind-melting) stuff.
> 
> I've a couple of questions.
> 
> 1) Does this apply just to entities (be it IBM or Joe Bloggs) who are
> actively enforcing their copyright via copyright statements, or is every
> commit of a new file or changed file without a copyright notice still
> owned by the committer?
> 
> 2) The simplified explanation I'd been told a few years back (via hearsay,
> lists etc) was that when I commit to Apache, any copy of the code I keep
> for myself is under my copyright whilst the copy I commit to Apache is
> under their ownership. Is this possible? For two copies of the same thing
> to bear different copyright?
> 
> Thanks,
> 
> Hen
> 
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