More on copyrights
Thu Dec 9 11:48:07 2004 More on
Posted by Tony Lawrence
Search Keys: this website|copyright
I just heard from the person who submitted the article. He says
(and I believe him) that he DID properly attribute the article and
that it was IXorg's fault that was taken off and that they will
post an apology.
I see also that SCO has properly attributed the article now.
Nothing more to see here, folks.. :-)
Seems that IXorg may be wanting to claim that either this
material was in the public domain or that it was written by Steve
Dunn (original author of the FAQS I have here). That particular
section was not written by Steve, but if that's what the IXorg
author thought, why didn't he say so? Or if he thought it was
public domain, why not say that? No, he chose instead to pass it
off as something belonging to IXorg.
Let's not misunderstand something: this was submitted by a
MEMBER of IXorg. It wasn't the organization itself. They are
apparently blameless - a member submitted an article, they and SCO
published it in good faith. It is the specific, unnamed member who
has been dishonest here.
But it is IXorg who has raised these public domain/Steve Dunn
issues as an excuse.
If the "IXorg" article had given credit to Steve Dunn I would
have corrected the error, but I wouldn't have been pissed off. I
would have seen that as an honest mistake because Steve never
originally gave much indication of who submitted what. Maybe he
didn't need to - maybe he wrote all the original stuff himself.
When I took it over, I started noting who had submitted articles,
but I didn't specially mark Steve's stuff because I didn't know
where it was from and because I had to change a lot of it anyway
due to being out of date. I didn't put specific copyright notices
on FAQ material (legally not necessary to do that anyway) because I
didn't want confusion with the original material that Steve handed
over and the material I added - I didn't want someone thinking I
was claiming copyright on Steve's submissions.
That was, of course, an imperfect solution. I really didn't want
to make the whole thing a confusing mess, but it is, so, as I said,
I really wouldn't blame anyone if they took something I added and
thought it had come from Steve. At least they wouldn't be calling
Again, with very few exceptions, most of the material on my site
can be freely used with attribution. I use a Creative Commons
Copyright for most articles. The FAQ doesn't specifically say that
it is copyrighted in that manner, but it doesn't say it isn't
either - again, I don't mind my parts being treated that way and
I'm sure Steve feels the same way.
Now: other people have taken this material and published as a
whole. That's fine. If the member found the FAQ at xyz.com, and
said "This aricle was from a FAQ I found at xyz.com", I would have
checked xyz.com, seen that they had included attribution back to
the original sources, and I would have no gripe with him. In my
mind, he would have reasonably attributed the material. I would
have preferred that he link back directly to me, but it would have
been understandable that he did not.
And again, I wouldn't have been terribly annoyed if he had said
"I think this is public domain". I would have wondered about his
intelligence, but not his honesty.
But you don't go taking stuff and calling it your own. That's
dishonest. Mark Twains writings will be passing out of copyright
soon, but that doesn't mean that Bill Crosby should republish "Tom
Sawyer by Bill Crosby", does it?
If this page was useful to you, please help others find it:
More Articles by Tony Lawrence
- Find me on Google+
This is a Unix/Linux resource website. It contains technical articles about Unix, Linux and general computing related subjects, opinion, news, help files, how-to's, tutorials and more. We appreciate comments and article submissions.
Jump to Comments
Many of the products and books I review are things I purchased for my own use. Some were given to me specifically for the purpose of reviewing them. I resell or can earn commissions from the sale of some of these items. Links within these pages may be affiliate links that pay me for referring you to them. That's mostly insignificant amounts of money; whenever it is not I have made my relationship plain. I also may own stock in companies mentioned here. If you have any question, please do feel free to contact me.
Specific links that take you to pages that allow you to purchase the item I reviewed are very likely to pay me a commission. Many of the books I review were given to me by the publishers specifically for the purpose of writing a review. These gifts and referral fees do not affect my opinions; I often give bad reviews anyway.
We use Google third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.