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Community contributions and copyright assignment

Nov 11, 2009, 23:03 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Corbet)

"In particular, developers are concerned and unhappy about the copyright assignment policy that Canonical has chosen for all of its projects. This agreement [PDF] is a relatively simple read; it fits on a single page. It applies to a long list of projects, including Bazaar, Launchpad, Quickly, Upstart, and Notify-osd; contributions to any of those projects must be made under the terms of this agreement.

"So what do contributors agree to? The core term is this:

""I hereby assign to Canonical with full title guarantee all copyright now or in the future subsisting in any part of the world in any Assigned Contributions."

"So Canonical gets outright ownership of the code. In return, Canonical gives the original author rights to do almost anything with that code."

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