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Re: Icon designer wanted (Aquamacs Emacs)

From: David Reitter
Subject: Re: Icon designer wanted (Aquamacs Emacs)
Date: Fri, 6 Jan 2006 14:16:23 +0000

On 6 Jan 2006, at 12:40, Lennart Borgman wrote:

address@hidden wrote:

I know that certain "qualified signatures" (e.g. via X.509 cert, signed
by a "trusted party", i.e. Thawte/Verisign etc.) do have legally
binding status in some legislations at this point. I wonder if these
things can be be used to sign code including a contract that contains
the same stuff that we need to sign when contributing to GNU projects.
If we can get the "paper" out of "paperwork", things would suddenly
become much more manageable.

Maybe that is a good idea, but it is actually very easy to sign the papers for Emacs contributions.

The difference is that you have to actively decide to contribute, or at least (rare case) being specifically asked. If people signed their code with such a legally binding signature, it could be used freely by anyone, for any compatible project. Of course, the license could even require you to sign such papers in case you integrate or re- publish the code.

The only reason I see why people haven't been doing that is that the specific legal procedure that applies to GNU project contributions doesn't really address an "industry"-wide problem, but only results from isolated incidents that hurt a single GNU project in the past. But it's a good process that adds value, so it should be promoted beyond GNU. To do so, you need paper-free paperwork and signatures on a by-offer as opposed to a by-request basis.

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