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Re: [vox-tech] Self-replacing license [was Urgent news: Linux maybe relicensed]
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Re: [vox-tech] Self-replacing license [was Urgent news: Linux maybe relicensed]

Quoting Micah Cowan (micah@cowan.name):

> Again, I feel the HOWTO (rather, DRAFT HOWTO) is wrong.

I note again, without making further comment, that this is squarely
within one of the co-authors' professional expertise.

(The text of the HOWTO is complete:  What's "draft" is its status as an
OSI working paper.)

> The text of the actual law they specifically cite is rather explicit
> that you receive only rights over your own contribution to the work,
> in the absense of any explicit assignments. 

Excuse me, but that's not what the clause in question says:

   In the absence of an express transfer of the copyright or of any
   rights under it, the owner of copyright in the collective work is
   presumed to have acquired only the privilege of reproducing and
   distributing the contribution as part of that particular collective
   work, any revision of that collective work, and any later collective
   work in the same series.

Holder of the collective-work copyright implicitly acquires a "privilege
of reproducing and distributing".  Any change in terms for the
collective work used for such reproduction and distribution that doesn't
injure (in a legal sense) the interests of contributors would not create
any actionable tort.  Of course, it might be rude and unwise, but that's
different from being a tort.

Complications arise if contributors have explicit copyright / licence
statements of their own -- and nobody's going to be able to successfully
sue without registering his/her copyright claim (which hardly anyone

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