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Postings from April 2006
Re: compilation copyright
From: Allison Randal
April 28, 2006 11:28
Re: compilation copyright
Message ID: ABEEBE67-7985-4EF1-99FB-AB4657536FC7@perl.org
First off, a little explanation. As the Copyright Act explains in
Section 103(b), a copyright in a compilation extends only to the
compilation itself, as distinguished from the preexisting material
collected and integrated in the compilation, and does not imply any
exclusive right in the preexisting material. The copyright in a
compilation is independent of, and does not affect the scope,
duration, ownership, or existence of, any copyright in the
The owner of a compilation copyright has the same rights with respect
to the compilation as the owner of the copyright in an individual
work has in the individual work, which are the exclusive rights to
reproduction, making derivative works, distribution, performance, and
On Apr 26, 2006, at 18:40, C. Garrett Goebel wrote:
> Q2: Does a compilation copyright exist if it isn't asserted or
Yes. Like all copyrights, it comes into existence when the work is
created and fixed in a tangible medium, such as computer memory.
> Q3: Why does TPF or any open source project need a "compilation
> copyright"? I.e. why aren't the copyrights on the contributed works
It’s the compilation -- the work that results from the collection and
integration of the individual contributions -- that’s distributed by
TPF and other open source projects. Without the compilation
copyright, anyone who wanted to use or redistribute Perl (for
example) would have to get the permission of everyone who has ever
contributed to Perl. Pretty inconvenient, and not something most
users would ever do, or be able to do.
> Q4: Where is Larry attributed as the compilation owner?
Everywhere it says "Copyright <some year(s)> Larry Wall".
> Q5: What legal liabilites would contributors be protected from if TPF
> holds compilation copyrights for Perl?
Copyright law isn't really about liability, so the fact that TPF owns
the compilation copyright does not have a direct effect on the
contributors legal liability.
The Artistic License 2 in Section 14 (and Section 10 of AL1) puts
users on notice that liability and warranties have been disclaimed
with respect to the Package by the contributors and the copyright
holder. Since a contributor only grants TPF a nonexclusive license,
a contributor is free to also distribute their contributions some way
-- other than under the Artistic License -- without a disclaimer of
warranty or liability.
> Q6: How well are compilation copyrights respected internationally?
They are recognized under the Berne Convention, the primary
international agreement on copyright law <http://en.wikipedia.org/
Including the U.S., approximately 160 countries have signed one or
another version of the Berne Convention.