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Re: better figure out a paperless copyright assignment method

From: James Youngman
Subject: Re: better figure out a paperless copyright assignment method
Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2008 10:55:40 +0000

[ bug-coreutils moved to BCC, this subject is off-topic for that list ]

On Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 5:22 AM,  <address@hidden> wrote:
>>>>>> "EB" == Eric Blake <address@hidden> writes:
> EB> According to address@hidden on 12/18/2008 9:55 PM:
>>> Wait a second, when making a Wikipedia editing contribution we just
>>> click on a box below some licence statement. Why can't you guys use
>>> that method?

The point of the existing method is that it needs to be watertight.
The FSF needs to have clear standing as the copyright holder, because
it needs to protect projects from abuse of the GPL.  See for example
the efforts the FSF has made to get several companies into compliance
with the GPL.  Sadly this sometimes involves ending up in court, and
the FSF needs to be able to prove that it really is the copyright

Once "some person clicked a web form, we have the web server logs
somewhere" becomes legally admissible as proof of copyright assignment
in all the venues in which the FSF is likely to find itself in court,
then a web form will be the way to go.  Until then, the cumbersome
nature of the current process is just another part of the price in
work that volunteers pay to make Free Software available to everyone,
and make sure that it stays available to everyone.

> EB> Why are you asking us, when we can't do anything to change the situation?
> EB>  You should be asking the FSF licensing list:
> EB> address@hidden
> EB> http://www.gnu.org/prep/maintain/maintain.html#Copyright-Papers
> Hmm, odd English there: "per". Hmm, kind of long. Anyway OK, CC'ing
> them to please mention in that document if "click through" agreements
> are useful at all.

Well, this subject is off-topic for bug-coreutils, so there is no
point in CC'ing that list.

> Anyway, good thing my contributions are always only few-liners.

FWIW, what counts is your *cumulative* contribution, not the
individual size of each.


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