[Nagiosplug-devel] Antwort: Antwort: Contributing patches and retaining copyright
Olivier 'Babar' Raginel
nagios at babar.us
Wed May 6 18:00:56 CEST 2009
On Wed, May 06, 2009 at 04:23:30PM +0200, Andreas Ericsson wrote:
> Not necessarily. In a court of law, copyright holders must show that
> their contribution is not insignificant. A one-line fix from me to
> net-snmp gives me absolutely zero right to decide over the license of
> the project. Also, if a large enough majority of the contributors (and
> contributors here is counted by number of contributed lines of code),
> the license can be changed without even asking the remaining
> programmers, so long as they didn't write a significant part of the
> project as a whole.
IANAL, so I'll refrain from commenting on this. I'm just like Sasha,
meaning I couldn't contribute back some code because the company I wrote
it for owned the copyright.
Anyway, Andreas, are you sure about that?
This seems pretty hard to enforce to me.
Let's take a concrete example: Nagios::Plugins. Afaik, Gavin Carr wrote
the first shot at this. It's been extended a lot since then. What if,
over time, someone refactors that up to a point that not a single line
of what Gavin wrote is left in the source. If I did that re-factoring,
would I then be able to claim copyright? Would the copyright be shared
between Gavin, myself, and the others who made substantial contributions
to that piece of code?
May I also rip Gavin's name out of N::P then?
And no, I'm not planning to re-write N::P, it's perfectly fine. This is
just intended as an example, as I've been wondering this for quite some
time, and could never find a clear statement about this.
GPL mentions something about every contributor should be credited, but I
couldn't find anything about copyrights and what it actually means.
But once again, IANAL, I'm only very interested and eager to learn how
this licensing model can work.
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