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Re: One-click copyright assignments?

From: Filipe Silva
Subject: Re: One-click copyright assignments?
Date: Sun, 12 Mar 2017 14:07:48 -0300

This. I'm also curious to know why is the process so bureaucratic as it is currently. Maybe there's a legal issue or something.

On Sun, Mar 12, 2017 at 8:08 AM, Clément Pit-Claudel <address@hidden> wrote:
Hey emacs-devel,

Why is the copyright assignment process for GNU software more complex than other similar ones ?  I've contributed to various pieces of free software in the past, and in most cases (except for Apache) the assignment process was little more than a click of a button, possibly followed by an email.  For Emacs, on the other hand, one needs to send an email to emacs-devel to get an off-list copy of a text-based form, then send the completed form to address@hidden, then wait for a PDF (which mentions a monetary transaction of $1 that never actually happens), then electronically sign the form using PGP (possibly with an entirely new PGP key), then email it back and wait for confirmation.

Is there anything specific to Emacs that requires the process to be this complicated?  For example, could the entire process not be automated?  Ideally new contributors would fill a web form on gnu.org/emacs, sign with their mouse at the bottom of that form, and confirm their email adress by clicking a link in an email.

The existing process could remain in place for e.g. company-wide assignments, but for the common case of applying a patch to an ELPA package, wouldn't this make things much nicer?  If this can't be done, then could we at least automate the part that generates the PDF form, and the part that checks the signature, so as to eliminate the copyright assignment delay?


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