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Re: Emacs contributions, C and Lisp

From: Michal Nazarewicz
Subject: Re: Emacs contributions, C and Lisp
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2014 18:00:59 +0100
User-agent: Notmuch/0.17+15~gb65ca8e (http://notmuchmail.org) Emacs/ (x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu)

> On Wed, Feb 19 2014, David Kastrup <address@hidden> wrote:
>> With regard to copyright assignments, you pretend that it is some magic
>> ritual of initiation.  There is nobody who'd be more glad than the FSF
>> if this kind of paperwork was without merit and unneeded.

On Thu, Mar 27 2014, Michal Nazarewicz wrote:
> There are people who would argue that this kind of paperwork is in fact
> unneeded.  I admit it has merit, and I understand why lawyers want it,
> but it's not at all clear that it is worth creating this burden.

All right, let me take a step back because it seems my argument was
worded too strongly and spawn a discussion that I did not intend.

What I'm trying to say is that copyright assignment *is* a red tape.  It
*does* prevent patches from going into Emacs.

One can put fingers in their ears and claim this in not the case but
such behaviour would be hurtful to Emacs.  The other option is to admit
the issue, but say GNU project chosen to go with CAs anyway, and stop
the discussion here.  This is better, but I don't think the discussion
needs to stop there.

So here are some ideas that would reduce the cost of a first patch:
- Allow the first 100 patches without a CA.
- Allow electronically-signed CA.
- Allow electronically-signed CA for the first 100 patches, and then
  require dead-tree CA.
- Allow multi-project CAs (perhaps a form with a list of check-boxes).

A lawyer will tell you[1] that it increases risk and may make
enforcement harder, but your job is not to do whatever lawyers tell you,
but weight the risks against benefits, and I *strongly* believe that in
the case of Emacs benefits of allowing the first 100 patches w/o a CA
*greatly* exceed risks.

[1] By “you” I mean whoever would be in position to make a decision to
    change the CA process, which most likely means Richard.

Best regards,                                         _     _
.o. | Liege of Serenely Enlightened Majesty of      o' \,=./ `o
..o | Computer Science,  Michał “mina86” Nazarewicz    (o o)
ooo +--<address@hidden>--<xmpp:address@hidden>--ooO--(_)--Ooo--

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