[TOS] Textbook authors: Copyright Assignment, please respond
gdk at redhat.com
Thu Sep 17 21:36:50 UTC 2009
On Thu, 17 Sep 2009, Ross Gardler wrote:
>> * Are we getting together a textbook sprint at FSOSS? Which authors can
>> make it? How much time can we spend on it?
> I'm planning on being there, but there are some legal issues... (I've
> said too much about that already).
Well, let's make sure everyone understands them, since Ross and I have
been having some of these conversations out of band. To recap the
situation as I understand it, and Ross, please feel free to correct me
where I err:
* Ross really needs a Contributor License Agreement process in order to
justify the participation of OSS Watch -- a not-uncommon problem in our
world. Fedora requires folks to sign a CLA, for instance.
* This also requires a single copyright holder -- i.e. the party with
whom the CLA is binding. Which would require all authors to sign away
their copyright. Our options:
+ TOS as an org. We're not there yet, I don't think.
+ FLOSS Manuals as an org. I don't know that FM exists as a legal
entity either, since the copyrights seem to mostly be owned by
+ Some company. I'd like to avoid that.
+ An individual. I suppose this could be me, or Adam Hyde of FLOSS
None of these options seem particularly appealing. It's a tricky problem.
Since we've all agreed that the license will be BY-NC-SA, it's a trivial
matter to reuse the content you write if you sign away your copyright.
It does, however, mean that you would lose the right to dual license that
content -- if, for instance, you also wanted to sell the rights to your
chapter to some Linux magazine or something.
The first question, though, is a simple one: authors, are you willing to
assign your copyright to some single entity? If the answer is yes, we can
figure out what entity that should be. If the answer is no, then we're
basically saying "no CLA, so sorry Ross."
Input welcome (and, in fact, required) from authors on this question.
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