[linux-elitists] Courtney Love article in Salon

kmself@ix.netcom.com kmself@ix.netcom.com
Fri Jul 14 11:04:41 PDT 2000

On Fri, Jul 14, 2000 at 09:55:21AM -0700, Deirdre Saoirse wrote:
> On Fri, 14 Jul 2000, Rick Moen wrote:
> > "Courtney Love Does the Math"
> > http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2000/06/14/love/
> > 
> > I've never read anything Ms. Love has written before, but this piece
> > gets my respect.  It's probably the most thoughtful and articulate
> > piece on Napster, the RIAA, and the music "industry" you'll hope to 
> > see for a long time.
> To bring this into the Linux arena somewhat, software *cannot* be a work
> made for hire (unless you do it with in the scope of employment). There is
> a supreme court ruling that only those items explicitly enumerated in the
> copyright act can be works made for hire:
> http://caselaw.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=search&linkurl=<%LINKURL%>&graphurl=<%GRAPHURL%>&court=US&case=/us/490/730.html

Intersting cite, thanks Deirdre.

The relevant portion of the ruling is:

    Sculpture does not fit within any of the nine categories of "specially
    ordered or commissioned" works enumerated in that subsection, and
    no written agreement between the parties establishes "Third World
    America" as a work for hire.

    The dispositive inquiry in this case therefore is whether "Third
    World America" is "a work prepared by an employee within the scope
    of his or her employment" under 101(1).

Note that while software may not be a work for hire, typically a
contracting agreement will specify copyright assignment for works
created in the course of the contract.  All that the court ruling says
is that such disposition of copyright isn't automatic under the "work
for hire" rule.  

Also, for programmers who are employees of a contracting firm, works
produced by the programmer are then works for hire of the *contracting
firm*, further disposition of which is negotiated between the contracting
firm and its clients.

Does make me want to take a close look at how companies such as
Collab.net are set up.

Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>     http://www.netcom.com/~kmself
 Evangelist, Opensales, Inc.                    http://www.opensales.org
  What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?   Debian GNU/Linux rocks!
   http://gestalt-system.sourceforge.net/    K5: http://www.kuro5hin.org
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