[thelist] Copyright ownership under LGPL

Drew Shiel ashiel at sportsinteraction.com
Tue Jun 15 04:02:46 CDT 2004

At 01:34 15/06/2004, David Bindel wrote:
>Client: Because I don't want to end up in a legal situation down the
>         road that is unforseen now.  Plus, I don't really want to have
>         others using products that I paid to have created.
>         The reason for this is I don't want to end up with other sites
>         similar to mine. I want my site to be one of a kind.
>Me:     But millions of websites have the same things you want on your
>         site! (weblog, quote of the day, daily photo, etc.)
>Client: I was talking about the internal code, not the look and feel and
>         features.

   I think your client is a touch confused about what can realistically be 
copyrighted. If you remove the look, feel, and features, what you'll be 
left with is a set of SQL queries (if that), and the necessary code to 
present information in headers and paragraphs. His content is automatically 
his, and I doubt he can exert any copyright over SQL queries, headers and 

   Alternately, he's asking you to develop a whole new methodology for the 
code of his site, which is not going to be a running possibility. Way I'm 
reading this, though, it looks as though he doesn't want you to use this 
kind of code ever again, which is not something I could work with.

   While there could be some more clarity on exactly what he wants the 
copyright TO, I think your best option here is "Look, I don't think this 
can be made to work the way you want. I'd like you to get a second opinion 
on this, though - here're addresses for a few other designers in the area."

   Either they'll tell him it's impossible too, or they'll take him on, and 
either way your problem goes away.


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