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Re: [DotGNU]Revision 4 Philosophy file

From: Barry Fitzgerald
Subject: Re: [DotGNU]Revision 4 Philosophy file
Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 11:45:51 -0400

Peter Minten wrote:
> I've made a few modifications to the previous (4) version, with thanks
> to Stephen Compall for some suggestions.
> There aren't many real changes in this version, mostly just rewriting
> the details, but there is one important thing: the file has double
> copyright at the moment. Double copyright can be legally tricky in some
> countries so that the copyright stuff may not prove to be stable. The
> solution to this would be a single copyright assignment, but there is
> the problem that the copyright would have to be assigned to
> FreeDevelopers or to the FSF meaning that one of the parties would have
> to be left out. That would be a bit unfair in my opinion, but workable.
> In this case the copyright would most likely go to the FSF, since
> FreeDevelopers doesn't seem to have a legal assignment procedure for
> these things (or am I missing something here?). What should be done with
> the copyright?

I'd say assign it to the FSF.  The only reason for copyright assignment
is protection of the license that you're putting it under, or
indemnification from reprise if the author is sued for any reason. 
There isn't any significant chance of being sued for the philosophy file
if we phrase it correctly.  So, indemnification is not much of an
issue.  So, you're left with protecting the copyright license (which is
not mentioned in the document).  Would you like GFDL of verbatim with
this document?  That might be a tricky one.  Since this is static, I
might go with an extended verbatim copying agreement rather than the
GFDL (I have no problem with the GFDL but this isn't a documentation
document strictly speaking -- we don't want people changing our
philosophy on us :) )... But, I'll leave that one for discussion amongst
the group.

Basically, that's what you should be thinking about in this discussion. 
Of the two groups - which one will be readily capable of defending your
copyright license with you if it is violated?  The FSF is stable and has
shown that it will do this.  FreeDevelopers, we have yet to see on both
counts.  If it were me, I'd say risk is low so copyright assignment to
the FSF is best.  There's no real strategic advantage that FD gets out
of a copyright assignment of this document, except to add it to the list
of items that have their copyright label on them.  Of course, this is
the proprietary way of operating... and FD doesn't operate that way -
right? :)


p.s. The file is coming along well.  Good work, Peter.

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