Copyright assignment

Bernhard Reiter bernhard at
Thu Jun 13 10:23:31 UTC 2002

On Mon, Jun 10, 2002 at 05:05:47PM +0200, Loic Dachary wrote:
> 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 ... ?

AFAIK there are some countries (UK? Portugal?) 
which do not have this in Europe, but most do have it.

>  > 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.

Because it is a possible breaking point when going to court.

> 	"personality rights" are never mentionned in European
> contracts (paid jobs, working for a company as a freelance
> etc.). Nevertheless, it is enforceable. 

This is a different situation as you do have many single agreements
with different circumstances and not one agreement which is employed widely.

> 	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. 

It is dangerous, because courts will probably fill gaps in interpretation.
There is quite some chance that the first rules will set examples
in the wrong directions which then will be hart to come over.

>  > 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.
> It basically relies on the amount of trust people have toward an
> independant moral person to fight for their rights. 

Correct. Though there are not many institutions that have a track record
of doing so and have access to the legal support of the FSF.

> 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.

There is even something better than legal contracts which can only
be fully understood by laywers. The FSF only trusts the FSFE if any
FSF* with this and officially approves the Free Software Foundation 
name component in it. So there are strong links between both organisations.
The FSF has hinted upon several times that they will not trust
smaller organisations or ones which are relatively easy to take over 
with copyrights. The FSF Europe can legally only support Free Software
because of its constitution.

But you know all this already. 8-)
Kind a strange way to ask it in public again to get it explained another time
instead of explaining it yourself...
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