[OSM-legal-talk] OBbL and forks
osm at inbox.org
Wed Dec 9 01:46:11 GMT 2009
On Tue, Dec 8, 2009 at 8:14 PM, Matt Amos <zerebubuth at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 12:21 AM, 80n <80n80n at gmail.com> wrote:
> > On Wed, Dec 9, 2009 at 12:14 AM, Matt Amos <zerebubuth at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> it's in that spirit, but it's also worth pointing out that we aren't
> >> asking for copyright assignment or any other rights assignment. that's
> >> a subtle, but often important difference.
> > Matt, could you explain why it's an important difference please?
> because, when this issue has come up before, several people expressed
> concern about assigning copyright (or any other right) to the OSMF.
> there's a liberal license grant, but no assignment of rights. since
> people think it's an important issue, to avoid further confusion i
> thought it was important to point out that difference.
A transfer of copyright is a transfer of exclusive rights. In the US, and
probably in other jurisdictions as well, it must be signed and in writing.
One key difference is that someone who is granted a nonexclusive license
does not have the power to sue for copyright infringement, whereas someone
who is the recipient of a transfer of copyright can sue for copyright
infringement - in fact, in the absense of a license to the contrary the
recipient of a copyright assignment can even sue the person from whom the
copyright was transferred. Additionally, in the case of an assignment of
copyright, the original copyright holder can terminate the transfer after 35
years. This is not possible in the case of a nonexclusive license.
However, it's unclear how this applies within the context of the ODbL,
because the ODbL only covers the the database as a whole, not the individual
contributions. Also, the ODbL relies largely on contract law, not copyright
law, so the owner of the copyright is to a large extent not relevant.
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