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Re: Regarding copyright assignment to FSF

From: Maxime Devos
Subject: Re: Regarding copyright assignment to FSF
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2021 15:42:37 +0200
User-agent: Evolution 3.34.2

Damien Zammit schreef op do 12-08-2021 om 12:18 [+1000]:
> Hi Ludo,

I'm not Ludo, but here's my response anyway.

(I'm interested in doing some small and larger things with the Hurd,
but I keep being occupied by other things and I'm having a hard time
understanding the inner workings ...)

> On 11/8/21 11:01 pm, Ludovic Courtès wrote:
> > It would be interesting to consider dropping the copyright assignment
> > requirement for Hurd/Mach/MiG.  For what remains primarily a hobby
> > project, this looks to me like a hindrance more than anything else.
> I imagine it is slightly inconvenient for new contributors, but not a 
> hindrance in my opinion.
> It ensures that FSF has complete control of the licensing.
> For example, how will FSF upgrade the project to GPLv3 if multiple people 
> hold the copyright?
> (There are plans to remove the GPLv2-only code btw, as Samuel said).

When the code is GPLv2-or-later, replace v2 with v3 in the license notices.
If the code uses GPLv2-only code, first upgrade the GPLv2-only code to 

Upgrading the GPLv2-only code might be dificult if multiple people hold
the copyright, so for the GPLv2-only code, it might be a good idea to still
require copyright assignment.

> PS: Why are you promoting a widespread drop of FSF copyright assignment 
> anyway?
> In my opinion, FSF is a better steward for copyright authorship than any 
> company
> would be assuming you are working on free software on an employer's time and 
> don't
> mutually agree with your employer to keep your own authorship.

FWIW, Ludovic does not seem to be promoting assigning copyright to employers.

> Even if you do keep it yourself, it makes it more difficult for anyone to 
> enforce
> the GPL for that project.

A fair point, though I don't know how accurate that is.


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