[OSM-legal-talk] OBbL and forks
doctau at mac.com
Fri Dec 11 10:26:26 GMT 2009
On 09/12/2009, at 11:46 AM, Anthony wrote:
> 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. http://www.bitlaw.com/copyright/license.html
Some other potential points against using copyright transfer:
* Given one of the arguments against CC-BY-SA is that in some jurisdictions the data isn't subject to copyright, copyright assignment of the data would be a bit questionable.
* Businesses and government department are unlikely to want to assign copyright to someone else, assuming that they are even the actual copyright holder.
* A lot of people won't want to do that. Quite a few people won't work on various open-source projects because they require assignment.
* You'd probably need to be a lot more careful. I believe that there are some jurisdictions where signing copyright transfer paperwork for something you aren't the copyright holder of is a lot more serious than plain copyright infringement.
* You wouldn't be able to use data you personally collected, except under the ODbL (the last part of the second sentence on the second paragraph above).
The downside of not requiring copyright assignment is that OSMF can't sue for copyright infringement of the data. They could still sue for breach of contract and possible infringement of the database rights (I'm not sure about that, I don't know enough about EU law).
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