Copyright assignment

Loic Dachary loic at
Mon Jun 10 15:05:47 UTC 2002

Georg C. F. Greve writes:
 > What you can transfer are "exclusive exploitation rights," which
 > economically behave like the anglo-american Copyright, but it does not
 > contain the "personality rights" of the author.

	That's what we call "droits moraux" (moral rights) in France.
Maybe Till can tell us if these "personality rights" are common to all
countries in Europe. Are there European countries that have no such
concept ? It exists in Germany (my guess), in France and ... ?

 > Normally, a transferral of "Copyright" would be understood as a
 > transferral of exclusive exploitation rights under continental
 > European law, but all doubts (that seem valid when the case goes to
 > court) will always be interpreted in favor of the original author.
 > Fuzzy statements work against the FSF in this case.

	I'd like to understand why, precisely.

	"personality rights" are never mentionned in European
contracts (paid jobs, working for a company as a freelance
etc.). Nevertheless, it is enforceable. Instead of qualifying such
contracts as fuzzy, I think it would be more accurate to qualify them
as being implicit instead of explicit. If enforceability of
"personality rights" could be questionned for copyright assignments
made to the FSF for this reason only, it would mean that the vast
majority of European contracts can be questioned under the same logic.

 > In the United States, Copyright is just a "thing" and can be bought
 > and sold like anything else. 
 > Fuzzy statements tend to work for the FSF in this case.
 > So it makes a lot of sense to make sure you have an assignment that
 > will work as well as possible under European law. 
 > Once the Fiduciary License Agreement of the FSF Europe is ready, it is
 > possible that the FSF North America will also start using it.

	I agree that mentioning "personality rights" would be an better.
I still fail to see why not doing so could be hazardous but I think that
adding it would be nice, even if it's not legally required. 

 > Of course Europeans are free to choose the FSF North America as their
 > fiduciary just like North Americans are free to choose the FSF Europe.

	Right. It follows the same logic as assigning copyright to
APRIL, ANSOL, Software Libero etc. It basically relies on the amount
of trust people have toward an independant moral person to fight for
their rights. Since there are no legal links between FSF and FSF Europe
assigning copyright to FSF Europe means that someone trust it to never
fall under an evil influence. I'm happy to learn that people already
are ready to grant this high level of trust the newborn FSF Europe.


Loic   Dachary  loic at
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