How specific must Copyright be?

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How specific must Copyright be?

Birger Schacht
Dear mentors,

I ITP (#929666) a software that lacks a copyright statement. I asked
upstream to clarify the copyright in the LICENSE file and upstream now
plans to use
> Copyright 2018-2019 github.com/containers authors
as a copyright statement. This seems a bit vague to me, in my experience
the copyright statement usually refers to persons or legal entities.
Would a copyright statement like the one above be acceptable in a
d/copyright file? Is it even legally valid?

cheers,
Birger

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Re: How specific must Copyright be?

Paul Sutton-2


On 12/06/2019 08:08, Birger Schacht wrote:

> Dear mentors,
>
> I ITP (#929666) a software that lacks a copyright statement. I asked
> upstream to clarify the copyright in the LICENSE file and upstream now
> plans to use
>> Copyright 2018-2019 github.com/containers authors
> as a copyright statement. This seems a bit vague to me, in my experience
> the copyright statement usually refers to persons or legal entities.
> Would a copyright statement like the one above be acceptable in a
> d/copyright file? Is it even legally valid?
>
> cheers,
> Birger
>


Not sure if this is useful but the Creative commons video says that
anything you create automatically has an 'all rights reserved' copy
right on it,

There is a Debian page on guidelines around this or which licenses are
acceptable for Debian.

I think this is were specific copyright or copyleft licenses are really
useful, as it helps others and avoids confusion.

Paul

--
Paul Sutton
http://www.zleap.net
https://www.linkedin.com/in/zleap/
gnupg : 7D6D B682 F351 8D08 1893  1E16 F086 5537 D066 302D

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Re: How specific must Copyright be?

Jeremy Stanley
In reply to this post by Birger Schacht
On 2019-06-12 09:08:25 +0200 (+0200), Birger Schacht wrote:

> I ITP (#929666) a software that lacks a copyright statement. I
> asked upstream to clarify the copyright in the LICENSE file and
> upstream now plans to use
>
> > Copyright 2018-2019 github.com/containers authors
>
> as a copyright statement. This seems a bit vague to me, in my
> experience the copyright statement usually refers to persons or
> legal entities. Would a copyright statement like the one above be
> acceptable in a d/copyright file? Is it even legally valid?
This is common in situations where the project also provides a
separate authors file, or generates one for its release distribution
(when building source tarballs, et cetera). Something like this
might be more clear:

    Copyright 2018-2019 github.com/containers authors listed in the
    Git history or AUTHORS file.

(and if you're packaging it, make sure to generate/include that
AUTHORS file)
--
Jeremy Stanley

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Re: How specific must Copyright be?

wookey-4
In reply to this post by Birger Schacht
On 2019-06-12 09:08 +0200, Birger Schacht wrote:

> Dear mentors,
>
> I ITP (#929666) a software that lacks a copyright statement. I asked
> upstream to clarify the copyright in the LICENSE file and upstream now
> plans to use
> > Copyright 2018-2019 github.com/containers authors
> as a copyright statement. This seems a bit vague to me, in my experience
> the copyright statement usually refers to persons or legal entities.
> Would a copyright statement like the one above be acceptable in a
> d/copyright file? Is it even legally valid?
A copyright ownership statement is not a free software licence, and as
someone pointed out, it defaults to 'entirely proprietary, all rights
reserved', which is not suitable for Debian. The vagueness of the
statement is not really a problem (specific statements tend to be
increasingly out of date over time unless someone keeps them updated,
anyway). But the point is that the software needs to have a free
software licence otherwise it's not free software. So they need to
decide if they want expat/apache/GPL, or something else approved by
the OSI (https://opensource.org/licenses) (or something else followed
by a long argument about whether or not it meets the DFSG - this is a
very foolish route to take without a _really_ good reason), and write
it down.

Once they've declared a free licence, Debian is happy. How they choose
to record their authorship copyrights is entirely up to them - just copy it.
 
Wookey
--
Principal hats:  Linaro, Debian, Wookware, ARM
http://wookware.org/

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Re: How specific must Copyright be?

Birger Schacht
Hi,

On 6/12/19 3:01 PM, Wookey wrote:

> On 2019-06-12 09:08 +0200, Birger Schacht wrote:
>> Dear mentors,
>>
>> I ITP (#929666) a software that lacks a copyright statement. I asked
>> upstream to clarify the copyright in the LICENSE file and upstream now
>> plans to use
>>> Copyright 2018-2019 github.com/containers authors
>> as a copyright statement. This seems a bit vague to me, in my experience
>> the copyright statement usually refers to persons or legal entities.
>> Would a copyright statement like the one above be acceptable in a
>> d/copyright file? Is it even legally valid?
>
> A copyright ownership statement is not a free software licence, and as
> someone pointed out, it defaults to 'entirely proprietary, all rights
> reserved', which is not suitable for Debian. The vagueness of the
> statement is not really a problem (specific statements tend to be
> increasingly out of date over time unless someone keeps them updated,
> anyway). But the point is that the software needs to have a free
> software licence otherwise it's not free software. So they need to
> decide if they want expat/apache/GPL, or something else approved by
> the OSI (https://opensource.org/licenses) (or something else followed
> by a long argument about whether or not it meets the DFSG - this is a
> very foolish route to take without a _really_ good reason), and write
> it down.

Thanks, I should have been more clear: the LICENSE file is an Apache-2.0
license and the above mentioned copyright statement is part of the
LICENSE file. My question was only about the validity of the Copyright
statement ;)


> Once they've declared a free licence, Debian is happy. How they choose
> to record their authorship copyrights is entirely up to them - just copy it.
Okey, I'll do that!

cheers,
Birger


>  
> Wookey
>