[packman] New packages for packman (Walter Fey) (Walter Fey)

Richard Brown RBrownCCB at opensuse.org
Thu Aug 3 10:47:03 CEST 2017

On 3 August 2017 at 09:47, Luigi Baldoni <aloisio at gmx.com> wrote:
> Sent: Thursday, August 03, 2017 at 12:23 AM
> From: "Walter Fey" <dl8fcl at darc.de>
>> I agreed to this and informed him, that due to serious legal concerns,
>> I cannot publish the copyright remark that is pointing to SUSE LINUX GmbH,
>> Nuernberg, Germany without a  written approval from this company.
> This is the part I understand the least.
> What would be the legal ramifications or even just the risks in
> attributing copyright to a third party? Or is mentioning a trademark that
> concerns you?

I also don't understand this part - especially as most FOSS licenses
require a copyright attribution for involved authors and require them
to be preserved when redistributing

eg: from https://opensource.org/licenses/MIT

"The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be
included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software."

eg. https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-howto.en.html

"Whichever license you plan to use, the process involves adding two
elements to each source file of your program: a copyright notice (such
as “Copyright 1999 Terry Jones”), and a statement of copying
permission, saying that the program is distributed under the terms of
the GNU General Public License (or the Lesser GPL)."

"If you have copied code from other programs covered by the same
license, copy their copyright notices too. Put all the copyright
notices together, right near the top of each file."

In addition to many licenses requiring an explicit copyright notice
and the preservation of it, Germany, UK and the US (as the three most
relevant legal authorities which OBS operates under) are all
signatories to the Berne convention which gives "automatic protection"
to copyrightable works under their jurisdiction.

This complicates matters with FOSS licenses which consider copyright
attribution as 'optional' but require it's preservation when source is
being redistributed. An 'implied' copyright assignment might not be
enforceable in all countries, and yet openSUSE's OBS can, and does,
redistribute software & source in all countries.

It's the openSUSE's projects opinion that to ensure the software's
free distributability the best approach is to require the explicit
declaration of copyright attribution in all specfiles. That copyright
attribution should include all of the involved parties who authored
that specfile.

> Furthermore, you wouldn't even have to use the "Copyright SUSE GmbH" line.
> Several other packagers just put in their name, current year and everyone
> who adds something to it would add his own.

Exactly, and the openSUSE Project is _perfectly_ happy with that. We
encourage our contributors to share their copyright attributions when
there is more than one party that wants to be recognised as a
copyright holder on the work they have contributed to the openSUSE

> Also, I understand the principle of wanting one's work to be recognised,
> but is it worth the trouble for something that can be trivially reimplemented
> and it's MIT licensed so anyone could reuse it in the first place?

And as linked above, the MIT license already requires an explicit
copyright declaration in order to be MIT licensed. Without a copyright
declaration, a file claiming to be MIT licensed is breaching the terms
of it's own license, and therefore is not legally redistributable.

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