[Fsfe-ie] is this list still alive

Ben North ben at redfrontdoor.org
Thu Mar 17 15:46:12 CET 2016

Hi Dietmar,

This list has indeed been very quiet for the past couple of years, yes.
Nonetheless there are people subscribed to this list.

My thoughts on your situation would be as follows, but bear in mind that I
am not a lawyer and this is not advice.

Firstly, it's excellent that you're trying to make your software available
under a free-software licence.  I think the goals of Free Software are
especially important in an education context.

It's possible that part of the 'terms and conditions' of being a student at
Letterkenny IT is that all creative output you produce as part of your
studies belongs to the college.  A brief Google just now didn't turn
anything up, but any such document might not be public.  If you did agree
to that, there might be very little you can do.  If you don't cease to
claim copyright on the code, you might not be awarded your BSc.  Depending
on the sympathies of the tutor for this particular course, he/she might be
willing to go along with the idea that, even though the copyright needs to
be held by Letterkenny IT, the code could be licensed under a Free-Software
licence (e.g., the LGPL you mention).  Perhaps this would be acceptable to

If there isn't such a 'terms and conditions' agreement, you could try and
find out why Letterkenny IT want the copyright.  If it's so they can re-use
the code (perhaps to show to future students; to archive it; to
automatically assess it; to publish it), then it might be the case that the
LGPL allows them to do everything they want to, and this just needs to be
explained to them.  If you didn't agree to assign the copyright in your
course-work to them, then I find it difficult to understand how they can
demand it.  (But: I am not a lawyer, and even if they can't actually compel
you to assign them the copyright, it might be wise to do so in the bigger
picture of you getting your BSc.)

Those are my (non-expert, non-lawyer) thoughts on this.  Depending how much
of a fuss you want to make, you could talk to an actual lawyer, or perhaps
get in touch with Digital Rights Ireland (https://www.digitalrights.ie/).
Or perhaps the FSFE (https://fsfe.org/index.en.html).  Hope this is of some
use anyway!

Good luck!


On 17 March 2016 at 13:02, Dietmar Steiner <open.source at d-steiner.com>

> Hi
> I just subscribed to the list and saw the last message in the archive is
> from 2014.
> So is this list still used and if not what list I should use to discuss
> open software issues on.
> My issue currently is:
> I am in year 4 of a Bsc (H) in computer science at Letterkenny IT. I have
> submitted some software with an LGPL licence header.
> As a result I was told to remove the header and to add a copyright notice
> to assign all copyright to Letterkenny IT.
> I would like to argue my case to publish my work under the LGPL and would
> like to get advice what my position is in terms of copyright.
> Thanks for any response
> Dietmar Steiner
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