[PD] [expr] license issue (update)

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 3 23:42:31 CET 2011

----- Original Message -----
> From: Marvin Humphrey <marvin at rectangular.com>
> To: Mathieu Bouchard <matju at artengine.ca>
> Cc: Jonathan Wilkes <jancsika at yahoo.com>; PD List <pd-list at iem.at>; i go bananas <hard.off at gmail.com>
> Sent: Saturday, December 3, 2011 5:06 PM
> Subject: Re: [PD] [expr] license issue (update)
> On Sat, Dec 03, 2011 at 02:35:26PM -0500, Mathieu Bouchard wrote:
>>  I don't think anyone claims copyright on correcting a small typo, for  
>>  example.
> There are all kinds of crazy people in the world who claim things they don't
> have the right to, but to pursue the matter ad absurdum, any lawsuit over a
> small typo is going to be thrown out for failing a de minimis test.
> Nevertheless, I understand wanting to err on the side of safety.  Politics and
> courtesy probably play a larger role here than actual legal concerns.  And I
> certainly agree with Jonathan that IANAL.  :)
>>  Marvin said something about implicitly giving up copyright, in the  
>>  previous big thread about licenses (in sep+oct).
> I must have said something about granting implicit license under the license
> of the project when you provide a patch, which is definitely not the same
> thing as implicitly giving up copyright.

Right.  I believe the linux kernel devs  explicitly inherit licenses with a "signed-off-by" tag 
that gets send along with the code of the patch.  In this case or with Pd, the dev is making 
code in the patch public under the license of the code to which the patch is going 
to be applied.  But the dev is not making any kind of agreement to give up their 
copyright in either case.  (Check out the responses on the kernel dev list to the guy 
who offered $50,000 for a license to a snapshot of the kernel and you'll see how 
quickly contributors remember which parts of a project is under their copyright 
and _not_ subject to a license change.)

Anyway, the bigger question is whether one needs IRCAM's permission to re-license 
the code.  If so, it's probably _way_ easier just to code a new version.  If not, contacting 
the handful of developers who have worked on expr might be a workable solution.


> Marvin Humphrey

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