Subject: Re: Who holds the copyright?
From: shapj@us.ibm.com
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 12:13:01 -0500

>> There is a case in which Cygnus *cannot*, as a matter of contract, do
this.
>> If they do a CPU port as a work for hire, the intellectual property is
not
>> theirs to disclose.
>
>A "work for hire" is a work done by an employee as part of their
>employment duties.

You are correct, and I beg your pardon for using the wrong term.  I cannot
now recall the right term, but the upshot is that unless the contract
explicitly makes other provisions, the intellectual property created under
a contract is owned by the party who pays for the contract.  Therefore,
when SomeCo contracts with Cygnus to build a port, the intellectual
property resulting is owned by SomeCo, not by Cygnus.

It doesn't matter what blanket copyright assignments Cygnus has signed in
this situation. Aas Cygnus never owns the intellectual property, and as
Cygnus cannot assign what they do not own, the code from such a contract
cannot be assigned to FSF by Cygnus unless the contract specifically
provides for doing so.

I wasn't dinging Cygnus here.  Michael actually went through all of this in
some detail in the earlier thread about the HaL contract.  I was trying to
synopsize the result.

Jonathan S. Shapiro, Ph. D.
Research Staff Member
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
Email: shapj@us.ibm.com
Phone: +1 914 784 7085  (Tieline: 863)
Fax: +1 914 784 6576