volunteer copyright assignment / licensing agreement

Ian Jackson ijackson at chiark.greenend.org.uk
Tue Feb 19 14:14:13 UTC 2013

Joerg Jaspert writes ("Re: volunteer copyright assignment / licensing agreement"):
> I think it would be nice to have that stuff specified more formally and
> to offer it. I (currently) don't see why SPI shouldn't, just that we
> need to check what would be done in case the project wants to leave SPI
> and go elsewhere. (IE. the assignment would either stay with us, or
> provide us with the right to get that on to suitable others too).

Isn't this sufficiently covered by the SPI Position and Promises about
Intellectual Property, SPI Board resolution 1998-11-16.iwj.2 ?

Let me quote s3:

  3. Software Copyright

  SPI does not encourage software authors to assign copyright in their
  work to SPI. It is usually in everyone's best interests for the
  original author to retain their copyright, and to release it under a
  good free software licence such as the GNU General Public License
  (preferably stating 'version 2 or, at your option, any later

  Nevertheless, in some circumstances authors may wish to assign
  software copyright to SPI. In this case SPI will release the software
  under the GNU General Public License unless the nature of software
  requires a less restrictive licence. In any case SPI will release such
  software under a licence compatible with the GNU GPL.

  If software copyright assigned to SPI is shared with other people or
  organisations, and the licences do not permit release under the GNU
  GPL then SPI will do its best to improve the situation, by releasing
  the software under as good a licence as possible and encouraging other
  joint copyright holders to improve their licences.


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