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Re: Incorporating patches into GNU Emacs

From: Steve Youngs
Subject: Re: Incorporating patches into GNU Emacs
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2003 15:29:29 +1000
User-agent: Gnus/5.090019 (Oort Gnus v0.19) XEmacs/21.5 (cabbage, linux)

|--==> "BW" == Bill Wohler <address@hidden> writes:

  BW> So someone sends you a cool patch to put into Emacs. You've
  BW> signed the copyright assignment papers and can check code into
  BW> Emacs; they have not and can not.

  BW> Can you simply incorporate their patch and give them credit in
  BW> the ChangeLog?

The way I understand it, no.  

The author of the original code needs to assign the copyright to the
FSF.  For various reasons, the FSF _must_ hold the copyright on every
single line of code it distributes.  You can't assign a copyright that
you have no legal right to.  Only the guy with the cool patch, or
possibly his employer can do that.  And just because you incorporate
his code into your own doesn't alter the fact that you don't hold the
copyright to that code.

You could also quite possibly be breaching cool patch author's
copyright.  But that's highly unlikely if he has sent you the patch,
although his employer might have a claim on it.

|---<Steve Youngs>---------------<GnuPG KeyID: 10D5C9C5>---|
|        XEmacs - The only _______ you'll ever need.       |
|          Fill in the blank, yes, it's THAT good!         |

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