Re: copyrights assignments

Ali Abdin <> writes:

> Well - recently there was the 'SHEBA' arabic linux distro that
> 'appears' to violating the GNU GPL and supposedly has a 'patent
> pending'.

In which way are they violating the GPL and what patent is this ?

> I contacted RMS about the issue, but he told me that since the
> copyright isn't assigned to them (the FSF) there was not much they
> could do.
> Right now, it seems the copyright for much of the stuff in GNOME is
> just assigned to the person who writes it, which will possibly make it
> more difficult to pursue legal issues. I believe though that the
> situation is possible improving since copyright is now being assigned
> to either Helix Code, Eazel, or Red Hat.

Well, I think that people normally assign all their copyrights to the
company they work for.

However, we still have the big problem that what's written as copyright
notice in some files in CVS is not always correct and does not always
reflect the real copyright.

Most of the time this copyright notices are created by the original
creator of a file and when people later add stuff (and thus have the
copyright to their additions), they forget to add this to the copyright
notices at the top.

Even worse, sometimes people also write copyright notices without actually
having the copyright so they aren't really allowed to do so (and thus
the copyright notice being void).

> I agree though that this probably not an issue for the gnome
> foundation (since it has other priorities at the moment).

So I think it is an issue for the GF - it's even a very big issue.

If we as the GNOME Project want to be able to defend the copyright of
our code we need to make sure that we own and keep all our copyrights.

Of cause, at the moment we have more important issues to discuss, but
when the GF is created and the first board started its work, we should
talk about this.

Martin Baulig (private) (work)

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