[ntp:questions] Copyright notice

Unruh unruh-spam at physics.ubc.ca
Wed Jun 25 09:22:05 UTC 2008

"David L. Mills" <mills at udel.edu> writes:


>Lots of folks have been chipping away at me over the years about the 
>copyright notice in the NTP distribution. I have refused to change the 
>wording on the basis this might disenfranchise current users. Well, I 
>took the case to the lawyers in our Univerisity Intellectual Properties 
>Office and they told me the current wording is perfect and not to change 
>anything. They did suggest I change the copyright holder to the 
>University of Delaware on the basis this might deflect complaints to me 
>personally. I have done that and so it remains.


Actually that may be problematic. NTP is NOT just yours. It belongs to all
who contribute to it. Their works which are included are derivative works
based on your work, and as a r esult fall under both your and their
copyright. NOw you are perfectly within your rights to transfer copyright
in your work to the U of Deleware ( or depending on your contract with them, all your
work may be work for hire and have always belonged to them) but the work of
others does NOT belong to either you or U Del. YOu could also all
contributors totransfer copyright to you or U Del. but without such a
transfer, it belongs to them. 
Note no current change in the copyright notice can disenfranchise old
users. The contract under which they aquired the software cannot be
unilaterally changed by you (unless you demand that they sign a contract
which explicitley gives you that right).)

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