Subject: Re: Language question
From: "Abe Kornelis" <>
Date: Wed, 7 May 2003 19:57:56 +0200


thanks for your response.
please find my comments inserted below.

> > If I distribute my software under an open source license, I still
> > retain ownership of copyrights and other intellectual property
> > rights to the distributed software. Thus ownership of those
> > rights might be transferred to another person or company, right?
> Yes, except for the what you've specifically disclaimed under your
> license (the "exclusive right" to modify and copy).  You can certainly
> transfer additional rights under other licenses to another person or
> company.
--> What I mean is that I might die and my wife would inherit all rights
I have. Also I might sell my copyrights (or give them away) to a company.
In either case, I would expect that the transfer of rights does not
invalidate any rights the users have. That is, any obligations incurred
would remain valid. E.g. the obligation not to withdraw contributions
from the open-source community.

> > Now, when ownership of rights is transferred, any associated
> > obligations should be transferred along with it.
> I don't think so.  Any obligations you've made for yourself remain yours.
> You may be able to transfer them by contract, but it won't be automatic.
--> As stated above, I was thinking of obligations that relate to the
When ownership is transferred then associated obligations must pass along
with it. Otherwise the horror scenario appears: company A releases open
source software. Many users supply contributions. company A sells software
to company B (owned by same persons) but retains all obligations.
Company A ceases to exist. Company B now is owner without obligations
to the authors of the contributions. The complete software package is
withdrawn from open source by company B. There goes the work we
have collectively put into the contributions.

> > I have a feeling that 'transferring ownership of obligations with
> > respect to the software' is not the way to say that in english. Anybody
> > happen to know how to formulate such a requirement in english?

I do hope the explanations above make my intentions more clear.

Kind regards, Abe.

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