Copyright issues

MJ Ray mjr at
Wed Mar 5 10:23:27 UTC 2008

Jimmy Kaplowitz <jimmy at> wrote: [...]
> The issue with the Debian website copyright is rather different and is
> much more complicated, because contacting all past contributors to that
> website, getting some sort of legal document signed with them, and
> convincing all current and future contributors to do the same would be a
> huge task.

First off, I'm not sure that this is so different, because OpenWRT may
be expecting ease of bugfixing licensing to be one of the benefits of
copyright centralisation.

Secondly, is it necessary to contact all past contributors, what legal
document would need to be signed by them and all current and future
contributors?  I think the debian contributors interested in this
realise it's a potentially huge task, but SPI hasn't given an explicit
answer about what we can do to resolve it AFAIK.  Yes, we can go off
at half-cock, based on some incorrect layman understanding, do a huge
task and then still find we've not fixed the bug, but I'd rather not,

> I'm not saying this is impossible, but if I'm not mistaken,
> Debian hasn't even decided how it wants to resolve the issue, so SPI
> can't really do much.

SPI has the lawyers.  SPI needs to help find out what the debian
project's options for resolving this issue, please!

Is that really the problem?  SPI wants more direction from the debian
project still?  Unless I'm much mistaken, those 2005 meetings had the
then-DPL present.  If SPI board wanted more official Debian direction,
it could have been obtained almost immediately, but it seemed like
SPI's board was happy to allow a debian contributor to ask its lawyer.
Did that ever happen?  I can't tell: I didn't find the outcome
recorded anywhere.  The loop never closed, did it?

> Additionally, these discussions happened back in
> 2005, and the SPI Board has become much more organized and better
> prepared in the three years since then.

Agreed.  Also, past performance is not necessarily an indication of
future returns and so on, but it's one of the few predictors that we
have and the promises and positions on these topics have not changed
in the meantime.

> [...] MJ Ray is a very active contributing member,
> though has never been on the SPI board, and is therefore speaking in his
> individual capacity.

Yeah, and He Is Not A Lawyer either.

Please do *not* import bad habits of some idiots on debian lists to
this mailing list.  Unless stated otherwise, even if they are posting
with @debian or @spi-inc, all posts are made in a personal capacity.
In my case, I usually have signature links to some home page(s) which
often include that info, unlike several other posters.

> P.S. - MJ, those minutes are in fact no longer draft, but many of our
> old minutes have not been updated to remove the text saying that they
> are no longer draft. In actual fact, all minutes except the ones from
> the most recent meeting have been approved.

Can someone do a multi-page search-and-replace, please?  (From memory,
worst case, with plone/zope, mount it with curlftpfs and use sed.)

MJ Ray tel:+44-844-4437-237 -
Webmaster-developer, statistician, sysadmin, online shop builder,
consumer and workers co-operative member -
Writing on koha, debian, sat TV, Kewstoke

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