Re: Foundation and Source Code Copyright

On 8/6/07, Havoc Pennington <hp redhat com> wrote:
> Kjartan Maraas wrote:
> > Is there a rule of thumb as to how much code is contributed before this
> > applies? I've always assumed that writing new code gives you the right
> > to add yourself, but fixing bugs in existing code is a different matter?
> >
> IANAL and don't really know. If you made me guess, if your fix involves
> writing a few lines then that is copyrightable.

(IANALYet, TANSTAAFL(egalconsultation), YMMV, etc.)

Under US law, the contribution probably has to demonstrate some
"modicum of creativity" in order to have copyright. If the few lines
represent a creative solution to a problem, or a creative new feature
(unlikely in just a few lines), then it is copyrightable; if the few
lines are just an obvious 'oh, this has an off-by-one error'-type
patch, where no creativity is involved since the solution was obvious
once the problem was understood, then probably no copyright.

But YMMV by court, jurisdiction, country, etc. :)


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