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Copyright issue (was: Re: bug#19479: Package manager vulnerable)

From: Kelly Dean
Subject: Copyright issue (was: Re: bug#19479: Package manager vulnerable)
Date: Fri, 09 Jan 2015 06:59:54 +0000

Stefan Monnier wrote:
>>> You're one of the very rare oddballs who can't
>>> be bothered to sign a trivial document to get this out of the way
>> That's not true. I offered to sign a document saying my work is PD.
> I didn't mean "a trivial document" in the sense "any trivial document",
> but rather "the particular trivial document that everybody else signed".

The FSF doesn't have just one document for contributors; it has multiples, 
three of which I linked to in my previous message, and at least two more that 
are for assignment instead of disclaimer (one for only past contributions, and 
one for past and future contributions).

More than two years ago, I asked the copyright clerk to send me a disclaimer 
form to sign. He refused. This is the _only_ reason that the FSF doesn't 
already have a disclaimer on file for me.

If I sign an assignment document (i.e. saying that I own intellectual property 
for my work and that I'm assigning that ownership to the FSF), then I would 
just be committing perjury, because I don't own PD works. Nothing I sign can 
remove anything from the public domain.

Again, please don't conflate two separate issues:
0. The FSF is refusing new PD code in Emacs. (I would be happy to learn that 
I'm mistaken about this.)
1. My code is PD. (In case the FSF disputes this fact, I'm attaching a signed 
document to establish it.)

Because the clerk refused to send me anything to sign that would establish #1 
to the FSF's satisfaction, today I printed, signed, and scanned the attached 
document based on the disclaimer forms the FSF has published, to make it 
abundantly clear that my work is PD and that the FSF is free to use my work 
with no legal restrictions whatsoever.

I'm also CCing it to address@hidden, even though at this point I assume the 
clerk will come up with some excuse to reject it.

If the clerk feels this doesn't make #1 clear enough, then please tell me what 
needs to change. Even better, send me the exact disclaimer form you want me to 
sign, which I asked for in the first place.

I repeat: nothing I sign can remove anything from the public domain. So nothing 
I sign can assign to the FSF ownership of my work; if assignment is what the 
FSF insists on, then it's asking for the impossible.

The attached document is to establish #1 to the FSF's satisfaction. The FSF 
alone has the ability to solve #0; it has nothing to do with me.

Here's the text of the attached document:

This document is derived from the following sources:

I, Kelly Dean, American citizen and resident, hereby disclaim all patent, 
copyright, and all other forms of intellectual property ownership of and 
interest in all of my patches, software manuals, software programs, source 
code, documentation, revisions thereof, and all other works, past, present, and 
future, that I sent or will send to the address@hidden or address@hidden 
mailing lists, to address@hidden, to any other mailing list or email address at 
gnu.org or any subdomain thereof, or to any developer or maintainer of GNU 
Emacs or any other GNU software, from my previous (no longer active) email 
address of address@hidden, my current email address of address@hidden, or any 
other email address.

I affirm that I have no other proprietary interest that would undermine this 
release, and will do nothing to undermine it in the future. I represent that 
all of the aforementioned works are my own and not a copy of someone else's 
work, except where sources are cited. Patches include citations and partial 
copies of the works to which the patches apply.

I created all of the works exclusively on my own time. They are not works made 
for hire, and there's no educational institution, employer, or any other 
organization or person who owns them. I do not have any agreement with any 
person or organization saying he or it owns programs I write, and I did not 
have any such agreement when I created any of the aforementioned works.

All of the works are permanently and irrevocably in the public domain.

Kelly Dean
January 8, 2015

Attachment: gnu-disclaimer.pdf
Description: Adobe PDF document

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