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From: g...@brl-smoke.ARPA (Doug Gwyn )
Newsgroups: comp.sources.d
Subject: COPYRIGHT NOTICES
Message-ID: <6236@brl-smoke.ARPA>
Date: Thu, 6-Aug-87 10:23:03 EDT
Article-I.D.: brl-smok.6236
Posted: Thu Aug  6 10:23:03 1987
Date-Received: Sat, 8-Aug-87 12:44:24 EDT
Organization: Ballistic Research Lab (BRL), APG, MD.
Lines: 5

I've seen a lot of software posted to comp.sources.* recently
that include (attempted) Copyright notices.  I don't know what
the point of including such notices in broadcast code is, but
I've just been tossing it since if the copyright is legal I
cannot make a copy of it to compile, etc.  Please cut it out!

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From: chuq%pl...@Sun.COM (Chuq Von Rospach)
Newsgroups: comp.sources.d
Subject: Re: COPYRIGHT NOTICES
Message-ID: <25095@sun.uucp>
Date: Fri, 7-Aug-87 01:17:50 EDT
Article-I.D.: sun.25095
Posted: Fri Aug  7 01:17:50 1987
Date-Received: Sun, 9-Aug-87 02:39:35 EDT
References: <6236@brl-smoke.ARPA>
Sender: n...@sun.uucp
Reply-To: c...@sun.UUCP (Chuq Von Rospach)
Organization: Fictional Reality, uLtd
Lines: 31

In article <6...@brl-smoke.ARPA> g...@brl-smoke.ARPA (Doug Gwyn ) writes:
>I've seen a lot of software posted to comp.sources.* recently
>that include (attempted) Copyright notices.  I don't know what
>the point of including such notices in broadcast code is, but
>I've just been tossing it since if the copyright is legal I
>cannot make a copy of it to compile, etc.  Please cut it out!

I'm not sure I agree with this at all.  Some of the copyright notices are
definitely bogus -- if you're going to try to protect your code instead of
release it into the public domain, at least learn enough of the legal
mumbo-jumbo to do it right.  All you're doing otherwise is putting it into
the public domain without knowing it, which can be quite embarassing down
the road.

But some of the copyright notices I've seen are quite reasonable.  Adl, for
instance, is copyrighted with full permission to use and distribute except
for commercial gain.  Now, we can argue commercial gain all we want (if I
port it to the Mac and sell it to a publisher, I break the copright, but
what if I simply port it to a Sun and put it on our distribution tapes? Is
that STILL commercial gain?  I don't plan on it, because it isn't clear...)

My cut on this is that stuff shuold be put into the public domain unless
there is a clear reason not to (adl, for instance, has interesting
possibilities...).  But simply because it is on the broadcast net don't
assume that the copyright is invalid.  And if the copyright restrictions are
unreasonable, either toss the code or talk to the author about it.

chuq
Chuq Von Rospach	c...@sun.COM		Delphi: CHUQ

We live and learn, but not the wiser grow -- John Pomfret (1667-1703)

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From: r...@topaz.rutgers.edu (Ron Natalie)
Newsgroups: comp.sources.d
Subject: Re: COPYRIGHT NOTICES
Message-ID: <13819@topaz.rutgers.edu>
Date: Sun, 9-Aug-87 16:37:10 EDT
Article-I.D.: topaz.13819
Posted: Sun Aug  9 16:37:10 1987
Date-Received: Sun, 9-Aug-87 22:46:41 EDT
References: <6236@brl-smoke.ARPA>
Organization: Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, N.J.
Lines: 9

Then I suggest that you look towards your own organization.  The
software that BRL distributes has an erroneous COPYRIGHT notice
and smoke screen on it.  The U.S. Government can not hold a copyright
on anything.  Moreover, trying to maintain a proprietary to BRL status
on this published code is probably not enforceable provided that the
code is not of a defense sensitive nature that should have precluded
any distribution to begin with.

-Ron

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From: g...@brl-smoke.ARPA (Doug Gwyn )
Newsgroups: comp.sources.d
Subject: Re: COPYRIGHT NOTICES
Message-ID: <6267@brl-smoke.ARPA>
Date: Sun, 9-Aug-87 19:23:58 EDT
Article-I.D.: brl-smok.6267
Posted: Sun Aug  9 19:23:58 1987
Date-Received: Thu, 13-Aug-87 01:32:10 EDT
References: <6236@brl-smoke.ARPA> <13819@topaz.rutgers.edu>
Reply-To: g...@brl.arpa (Doug Gwyn (VLD/VMB) <gwyn>)
Organization: Ballistic Research Lab (BRL), APG, MD.
Lines: 12

In article <13...@topaz.rutgers.edu> r...@topaz.rutgers.edu (Ron Natalie) writes:
-Then I suggest that you look towards your own organization.  The
-software that BRL distributes has an erroneous COPYRIGHT notice
-and smoke screen on it.  The U.S. Government can not hold a copyright
-on anything.  Moreover, trying to maintain a proprietary to BRL status
-on this published code is probably not enforceable provided that the
-code is not of a defense sensitive nature that should have precluded
-any distribution to begin with.

That's all probably true.  I don't put any copyright notices on
anything I send out.  I'm not responsible for what others here
may do, but I'll forward the information to them.  Thanks.

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From: to...@bu-cs.BU.EDU (Leonard H. Tower Jr.)
Newsgroups: comp.sources.d
Subject: Re: COPYRIGHT NOTICES
Message-ID: <12133@bu-cs.BU.EDU>
Date: Thu, 20-Aug-87 14:37:50 EDT
Article-I.D.: bu-cs.12133
Posted: Thu Aug 20 14:37:50 1987
Date-Received: Sat, 22-Aug-87 11:03:36 EDT
References: <6236@brl-smoke.ARPA> <25095@sun.uucp>
Reply-To: to...@bu-cs.bu.edu
Organization: Distributed Systems Group, Boston University, 111 Cummington Street, Boston, MA  02215, USA  +1 (617) 353-2780
Lines: 53
Home: 36 Porter Street, Somerville, MA  02143, USA  +1 (617) 623-7739


In article <25...@sun.uucp> c...@sun.UUCP (Chuq Von Rospach) writes:
 > In article <6...@brl-smoke.ARPA> g...@brl-smoke.ARPA (Doug Gwyn ) writes:
 > >I've seen a lot of software posted to comp.sources.* recently
 > >that include (attempted) Copyright notices.  I don't know what
 > >the point of including such notices in broadcast code is, but
 > >I've just been tossing it since if the copyright is legal I
 > >cannot make a copy of it to compile, etc.  Please cut it out!

Maybe the moderators should do some filtering on copyright notices??

 > But some of the copyright notices I've seen are quite reasonable.

For example, the Copyright notices on GNU Software (example below).

 > My cut on this is that stuff shuold be put into the public domain unless
 > there is a clear reason not to (adl, for instance, has interesting
 > possibilities...).  But simply because it is on the broadcast net don't
 > assume that the copyright is invalid.  And if the copyright restrictions are
 > unreasonable, either toss the code or talk to the author about it.

My preference for this stuff is that software should be made freely
redistributable, and be legally protected by Copyright Notices et.al.
to keep it freely redistributable.

Oh, for a copy of the GNU Public License or further information on the
project contact <g...@prep.ai.mit.edu> aka <..!ucbvax.!prep.ai.mit.edu!gnu>

enjoy -len

# Makefile for GNU C compiler.
#   Copyright (C) 1987 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

#This file is part of GNU CC.

#GNU CC is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
#but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY.  No author or distributor
#accepts responsibility to anyone for the consequences of using it
#or for whether it serves any particular purpose or works at all,
#unless he says so in writing.  Refer to the GNU CC General Public
#License for full details.

#Everyone is granted permission to copy, modify and redistribute
#GNU CC, but only under the conditions described in the
#GNU CC General Public License.   A copy of this license is
#supposed to have been given to you along with GNU CC so you
#can know your rights and responsibilities.  It should be in a
#file named COPYING.  Among other things, the copyright notice
#and this notice must be preserved on all copies.
-- 
Len Tower, Distributed Systems Group, Boston University,
     111 Cummington Street, Boston, MA  02215, USA +1 (617) 353-2780
Home: 36 Porter Street, Somerville, MA  02143, USA +1 (617) 623-7739
UUCP: {}!harvard!bu-cs!tower		INTERNET:   to...@bu-cs.bu.edu

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From: web...@brandx.rutgers.edu (Webber)
Newsgroups: comp.sources.d
Subject: Re: COPYRIGHT NOTICES (on program sources, of course)
Message-ID: <330@brandx.rutgers.edu>
Date: Thu, 20-Aug-87 18:18:37 EDT
Article-I.D.: brandx.330
Posted: Thu Aug 20 18:18:37 1987
Date-Received: Sat, 22-Aug-87 12:06:49 EDT
References: <6236@brl-smoke.ARPA> <25095@sun.uucp> <12133@bu-cs.BU.EDU>
Organization: Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, N.J.
Lines: 36
Summary: con

In article <12...@bu-cs.BU.EDU>, to...@bu-cs.BU.EDU (Leonard H. Tower Jr.) writes:
> In article <25...@sun.uucp> c...@sun.UUCP (Chuq Von Rospach) writes:
>  > In article <6...@brl-smoke.ARPA> g...@brl-smoke.ARPA (Doug Gwyn ) writes:
>  > >I've seen a lot of software posted to comp.sources.* recently
>  > >that include (attempted) Copyright notices.  I don't know what
>  > >the point of including such notices in broadcast code is, but
>  > >I've just been tossing it since if the copyright is legal I
>  > >cannot make a copy of it to compile, etc.  Please cut it out!
> 
> Maybe the moderators should do some filtering on copyright notices??

Moderators should not change copyright notices.  Moderators can always
refuse to post things that don't meet their ``standards''.  I would
back moderators being more picky about what they put in their groups
if there was a reasonable alternative place for people who disagree.

> ...My preference for this stuff is that software should be made freely
> redistributable, and be legally protected by Copyright Notices et.al.
> to keep it freely redistributable. ...

My preference is for people who give gifts to give them without
strings attached.  Using copyright to ensure that one's name is
always associated with a piece of software is akin to writing one's
name on a dollar bill before putting it in the collection plate.
Using copyright to alter the economics of software distribution is
interesting but (while perhaps done with good intension) is not
justified by the resulting confusion (fighting fire with fire means
putting out a fire with a flame thrower, which is something that 
doesn't seem like a particularly good idea).

[Of course those of you who were at one time part of the sources
mailing list will doubtless recall that I myself have used copyright
to ensure that my name was removed from the software should anyone
modify it.]

------- BOB (web...@aramis.rutgers.edu ; rutgers!aramis.rutgers.edu!webber)

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From: r...@topaz.rutgers.edu (Ron Natalie)
Newsgroups: comp.sources.d
Subject: Re: COPYRIGHT NOTICES (on program sources, of course)
Message-ID: <14134@topaz.rutgers.edu>
Date: Fri, 21-Aug-87 13:01:01 EDT
Article-I.D.: topaz.14134
Posted: Fri Aug 21 13:01:01 1987
Date-Received: Sun, 23-Aug-87 01:40:25 EDT
References: <6236@brl-smoke.ARPA> <25095@sun.uucp> <12133@bu-cs.BU.EDU> <330@brandx.rutgers.edu>
Organization: Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, N.J.
Lines: 14

> > Maybe the moderators should do some filtering on copyright notices??

> Moderators should not change copyright notices.  Moderators can always
> refuse to post things that don't meet their ``standards''.  I would
> back moderators being more picky about what they put in their groups
> if there was a reasonable alternative place for people who disagree.

I think what the original poster meant was that the moderators should
filter out messages with questionable copyright notices on them, rather
than filtering out the copyright notices themselves.  A cheap method,
reportedly used on STARGATE, just neglects to post any message that
has a copyright notice in it.

-Ron

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From: g...@brl-smoke.UUCP
Newsgroups: comp.sources.d
Subject: Re: COPYRIGHT NOTICES (on program sources, of course)
Message-ID: <6316@brl-smoke.ARPA>
Date: Sat, 22-Aug-87 01:43:33 EDT
Article-I.D.: brl-smok.6316
Posted: Sat Aug 22 01:43:33 1987
Date-Received: Sun, 23-Aug-87 11:05:55 EDT
References: <6236@brl-smoke.ARPA> <25095@sun.uucp> <12133@bu-cs.BU.EDU> <330@brandx.rutgers.edu> <14134@topaz.rutgers.edu>
Reply-To: g...@brl.arpa (Doug Gwyn (VLD/VMB) <gwyn>)
Organization: Ballistic Research Lab (BRL), APG, MD.
Lines: 30

In article <14...@topaz.rutgers.edu> r...@topaz.rutgers.edu (Ron Natalie) writes:
>I think what the original poster meant was that the moderators should
>filter out messages with questionable copyright notices on them, rather
>than filtering out the copyright notices themselves.

Yes, or something like that.  I would actually hope that people
wouldn't insert them in the first place.  Normal professional
ethics should suffice insofar as making sure proper credit is
given and is not lost in future revisions.

By the way, as I read the GNU COPYING rules, they act like an
infection:  Suppose I packaged GNU EMACS along with a bunch of
other "free" software into some sort of user-contributed tape.
The GNU rules would spread to cover the entire package.  Then
suppose I wanted to distribute the user-contributed tape as a
"freebie" along with an operating system (like Gould's "D4"
tape).  The GNU rules would, as I read them, then also 
encompass the operating system.  As a commercial software
developer (hypothetically), I would not be able to derive
income from my work on the operating system.  Such terms would
certainly cause me to not include GNU EMACS in ANY software
package, to avoid starting a plague.  That somehow does not
seem to be what the rules were trying to achieve, which I
think was supposed to be the spread of Stallman's socialist
notions about intellectual property (software, at least).

Of course, the above scenario is oversimplified; in practice,
the large software package would probably contain items that
conflicted in their legal demands; who knows what the
resolution would be in a court of law.

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From: g...@hoptoad.uucp (John Gilmore)
Newsgroups: comp.sources.d
Subject: Re: COPYRIGHT NOTICES
Message-ID: <2823@hoptoad.uucp>
Date: Tue, 25-Aug-87 07:41:34 EDT
Article-I.D.: hoptoad.2823
Posted: Tue Aug 25 07:41:34 1987
Date-Received: Wed, 26-Aug-87 06:19:12 EDT
References: <6236@brl-smoke.ARPA> <25095@sun.uucp> <12133@bu-cs.BU.EDU> <1842@tekig4.TEK.COM>
Organization: Nebula Consultants in San Francisco
Lines: 111

I finished building the next Sun User Group contributed software
tape last month, and my perspective on software copyrights comes
from both the "collector's" point of view as well as the "author's"
and "user's".

As a collector, we don't want to get into trouble.  Distributing
somebody's commercial software by accident could shut us down if they
wanted to get really nasty about it.  As a result, we send
out forms and get people to sign them and send 'em back in to us.
The forms basically authorize us to distribute the software and
say that the person signing will "take the rap" if it's later found
out that, through untrue statements they make on the form, we get sued.
[AT&T Unix licensing adds another unrelated wrinkle here -- we get people
to guarantee that the code is not derived from licensed software too.]

There are a few things that I checked up pretty thoroughly and they are
public domain.  For these, if I couldn't get the author(s) to sign off
on them, I signed the form and am personally responsible (rather than
the Sun User Group).  If we used had any software from the Free
Software Foundation, I would've okayed it, since I know the origin of
the software and the terms are clearly written.  The rest of it, no
matter what its copyright notice said, won't be distributed unless we
can contact the author, because we can't afford to make a mistake.

The copyright notices on most free software I've seen are pretty bad.
Others have given examples, like "public domain, don't sell it".  Even
the ones that say "copyright by me, don't sell it" have not thought
things through.  Is the Sun User Group selling your software?  We charge
$100 for a tape.  We make more money than we lose at it (partly because
the labor of collecting software is mostly volunteer.)  Are we
selling it?  Is it OK for us to distribute your prized software?  WE HAVE
NO IDEA!  So we end up having to contact you anyway.  You might as well
have said "copyright by me, all rights reserved".

If you haven't thought through what uses you want your software put to,
DON'T POST IT.  Slapping an untidy copyright on it and posting it will
(1) limit people who might have been able to do something with it
otherwise; (2) not protect you if you ever DO want to sue somebody,
since you probably didn't make a solid copyright; and (3) have no
effect on the people who copy no matter what your copyright or
instructions say.  The only people you'll stop are the honest ones --
and they're the ones you're trying to help!

I recommend putting things that you care little about into the public domain,
explicitly (say "I, Joe Blow, the author, place this software and documentation
into the public domain.")  You can do it by leaving out a copyright, but
this method has two good effects.  It clarifies the status, and it tells
us who the author is, so we can contact you to make sure if necessary.
Public domain stuff causes the least hassle to future users, since they
don't have to check back with you once they're sure it really is PD.
Also, when you are tired of hearing about the software, any interested
people can just pick it up and start maintaining and distributing it.
Other things that fall into this category are stuff that you WANT people
to commercialize.  I did this with my PD tar, and a few places have
picked it up in their software releases.

For things where you care what use it is put to, I recommend using a
valid copyright ("Copyright 1987 by John Gilmore") in each file of the
distribution, and a statement like "Copying and use governed by the GNU
Emacs General Public License".  Somewhere in the distribution you
should include a copy of the license, or a pointer to the Free Software
Foundation so people can get a copy.  That license was written by a
lawyer and it works.  I'm using this method with uuslave (now evolving
into "gnuucp") because I want to make sure the sources remain available
to the public as people evolve it.  Like public domain, this method
also protects the software from your boredom.

I don't recommend writing your own copyright terms.  If you care enough
to do this, hire a lawyer for an hour or two to write the terms for
you.  I'm serious.  If clearly explaining what you want done with your
code (with teeth that you can enforce in court if necessary) isn't
worth $200 in legal fees to you, just put your wishes into the README
and put the whole thing into the public domain.  The only difference
between copyright terms and a statement of wishes is that you can sue over
the copyright, so hire the lawyer to protect your right to sue.  Without
her help, you'll probably blow it.

A lot of people have a deathly fear that they'll write the next
VisiCalc and donate it to the net, and somebody will get *rich* over it
and they'll never get a cent.  Guess again, guys.  Anybody who gets
rich from software ends up doing a lot of work -- the work you didn't
want to do, since rather than building a software company, you posted
the stuff to the net.  Hell, building the Sun User Group tape cost many
weeks of labor by me and several other people, and that was just
locating, collecting, and collating.  If we wanted to get rich, we'd
better support the software, fix bugs, answer the phone, add the latest
features from the competition, port it to the latest machines, etc.  If
YOU aren't willing to go to all that work, how about letting somebody
who WANTS TO do the work make some money from it?  Likely, nobody will
want to do it anyway, and your restrictions will just hinder people.
(One outstanding counterexample is James Gosling's Unix Emacs; he kept
his stuff clearly copyright, while handing it out to many people, and
eventually licensed it to Unipress, who maintains it and sends him
royalties.  But I have about 600 megs of stuff that nobody wants to
maintain, not even me...)  Note that the GNU general public license
lets anyone sell the sources of GNU stuff for any price.  But if
somebody hacks it up, makes it really great, and sells the sources for
an outrageous price, you can always buy one copy at the outrageous
price and then turn around and sell 10 copies for 1/8th the price,
because the GNU license doesn't let them prevent you from passing it on
after you buy it from them.  I like this effect -- it leaves the honest
people free to pass it around and use it, while effectively limiting
the exploitation possiblity.  Like I said above, it's written by a 
lawyer and it works.

You're the author -- you get to decide.  Just  t a k e   s o m e   t i m e
to think about what you really want before slapping a random copyright on
your work.
-- 
{dasys1,ncoast,well,sun,ihnp4}!hoptoad!gnu	     g...@postgres.berkeley.edu
My name's in the header where it belongs.

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