Subject: Implicit copyright assignment? (was Re: Who holds the copyright?)
From: "Bradley M. Kuhn" <>
Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 08:34:09 -0500

Brian Behlendorf wrote:
> On Wed, 17 Nov 1999, Russell Nelson wrote:
> > [1] Anything, that is, with a small enough set of copyright holders to
> > actually *agree* to change a license.

> I would hope that if it ever went to court, the courts would find that
> when someone submits a patch to the copyright owners, absent any other
> legal contract, there'd be an implied contract granting copyright.  But
> who knows.

This seems pretty problematic to me, though.  It could be that the main
developer decides to proprietarize and thus taking away the work of of the
free software developers.

I think it's better if folks, when patching, give a copyright assignment to
the primary developer.  Then, there's no ambiguity, and everyone knows
what's going on.

Baring that, folks should add their name to copyright.

(Of course, I am one of those radical folks who believes free software works
 best if a trusted non-profit (like the FSF) holds the copyright. :)

         -  -  Bradley M. Kuhn  -  -