Subject: Re: OSI enforcement?
From: 'Rick Moen' <rick@linuxmafia.com>
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2008 00:15:26 -0800

Quoting Philippe Verdy (verdy_p@wanadoo.fr):

> Yes, but the US government keeps a trustable archive of what he does.  Same
> thing for a professor working in an university, whose local repository is
> considered trustable.

Good and useful points.  In the USA, the Library of Congress Copyright
Office offers (entirely optional) registration of copyrights for a
fee.[1]  One might wish to do this, even if one's aim is to attempt to
contribute the work to the public domain.

> On the opposite, an "Internet Archive" is not reliable at all, as it cannot
> assert the effective source and cannot date the effective creation of the
> work and can't indicate any date of first publication, or if the publication
> was effectively authorized by its effective author.

I think, to use the example of qmail 1.03, a showing that it existed on
Dan Bernstein's personal site decades before some other hypothetical
would-be claimant asserted authorship would be awfully persuasive --
making the rather wild assumption of the matter ever coming up in the
first place.

> Bernstein does not publish everything directly to the web or other
> unreliable networks. He produces works, papers, and makes sure that the work
> is archived and seen by people that can attest of the existence of the work
> (including for financing it) before publishing it to the world.

Well, yes.  This are among the reasons why his authorship remains
obvious thereafter, with or without any measure to ensure inclusion of
an attribution statement.

[1] Legal advantages include establishing constructive notice of title
to any subsequent infringers, and some extra enforcement powers.