[m-dev.] copyright

Fergus Henderson fjh at cs.mu.OZ.AU
Sat Oct 30 12:47:24 AEST 1999

On 26-Oct-1999, Tyson Dowd <trd at cs.mu.OZ.AU> wrote:
> +<H3>Modifications to the Mercury System</H3>
> +
> +If you've modified something in the Mercury system and would like it to
> +become part of the main distribution, we'd be very interested in your
> +work.
> +<p>
> +The mercury-developers mailing list is intended for discussing proposed 
> +changes to the Mercury system.  If you would like to contribute reasonably
> +frequently it might be a good idea to subscribe, or at least browse the
> +archives of this list, simply to get an idea of the kinds of standards
> +required for integrating code into the main distribution.
> +You can also email <a href="mailto:mercury at cs.mu.oz.au">mercury at cs.mu.oz.au</a>
> +and discuss it with the Mercury team.
> +<p>
> +There is an issue with copyright ownership in the Mercury system. 
> +We'd like to retain the freedom to modify the license of the
> +Mercury system in future releases (in particular, we may decide to
> +dual-license the Mercury system so as to make it compatible with other
> +open source licenses out there).  Doing this with hundreds of copyright
> +holders is practically impossible, since you need the agreement of every
> +single one of them to make changes.
> +<p>
> +Under the current license you are free to make any modifications
> +you like and distribute them.  However we ask that if you want your
> +modifications to be merged back into the main line of development, you
> +talk to us about this issue.  The easiest solution is to place your
> +changes into the public domain (e.g. give up copyright ownership on
> +them) and then we can merge them into the main compiler.  This is a nice
> +simple mechanism for getting around the hundreds of authors problem.
> +If you have an employer who has some control over your copyright, we
> +have some standard documents for doing this kind of thing.  It is almost
> +always preferable to ask an employer to sign a form than to try to explain
> +the concept (possibly confusing or scaring them in the process).  Please 
> +email <a href="mailto:mercury at cs.mu.oz.au">mercury at cs.mu.oz.au</a> if
> +you want to discuss contributing changes to the Mercury system.
> +<p>


Here's a draft of the form in question.
This is adapted from the one used by the FSF.
Comments welcome.

 | We'd like to ask you to sign a disclaimer for your changes,
 | thus putting them in the public domain.
 | We're assuming that you wrote these changes yourself;
 | if other people wrote parts, we may need disclaimers from them.
 |     I, <name of person>, hereby disclaim all copyright interest in my
 |     changes and enhancements to The University of Melbourne Mercury
 |     Implementation (the "Program").
 |     I affirm that I have no other intellectual property interest that
 |     would undermine this release, or the use of the Program, and will
 |     do nothing to undermine it in the future.  I represent that the
 |     changes and enhancements are my own and not a copy of someone
 |     else's work.
 |     <signature and date>
 | *Don't forget to include the date.*
 | Spell out the month name--don't use a number for the month.  Dates
 | using a number for the month are ambiguous; 2/8/95 means one thing in
 | the US and another in Europe.
 | If you are employed to do programming (even at a university), or have
 | made an agreement with your employer or school saying it owns programs
 | you write, then we also need a signed disclaimer from your employer
 | or school.
 | This disclaimer should be signed by a vice president or general
 | manager of the company.  If you can't get at them, anyone else
 | authorized to license software produced there will do.  Here is a
 | sample wording:
 |   <company> hereby disclaims all copyright
 |   interest in the changes and enhancements made by <author> to
 |   The University of Melbourne Mercury Implementation (the "Program").
 |   <company> affirms that it has no other
 |   intellectual property interest that would undermine this release, or
 |   the use of the Program, and will do nothing to undermine it in the
 |   future.
 |   <signature of representative>, <date>
 |   <name and position of representative>
 | If your employer says they do have an intellectual property claim that
 | could conflict with the use of the program, then please put us in
 | touch with a suitable representative of the company, so that we can
 | negotiate what to do about it.
 | IMPORTANT: When you talk to your employer, *no matter what
 | instructions they have given you*, don't fail to show them the sample
 | disclaimer above, or a disclaimer with the details filled in for your
 | specific case.  Companies are usually willing to sign a disclaimer
 | without any fuss.  If you make your request less specific, you may
 | open Pandora's box and cause a long and unnecessary delay.
 | Please snail the signed disclaimers to:
 | The Mercury group
 | c/o Zoltan Somogyi
 | Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering
 | The University of Melbourne
 | Victoria 3010
 | Australia
 | Please print your email address on the printed disclaimer.

Fergus Henderson <fjh at cs.mu.oz.au>  |  "I have always known that the pursuit
WWW: <http://www.cs.mu.oz.au/~fjh>  |  of excellence is a lethal habit"
PGP: finger fjh at        |     -- the last words of T. S. Garp.
mercury-developers mailing list
Post messages to:       mercury-developers at cs.mu.oz.au
Administrative Queries: owner-mercury-developers at cs.mu.oz.au
Subscriptions:          mercury-developers-request at cs.mu.oz.au

More information about the developers mailing list