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Re: Please explain the FSF copyright assignment thing

From: Óscar Fuentes
Subject: Re: Please explain the FSF copyright assignment thing
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2017 19:49:26 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Filipe Silva <address@hidden> writes:

This is not the correct forum for this matters, but anyway...

> With the recent activity regarding RMS wishing that someone would come up
> and write a replacement for magit that could be bundled inside emacs, and
> give FSF the whole copyright assignment, I cannot help but be intrigued:
> what good do these required copyright assignments do to the free software
> community?

Only the copyright holder can effectively exert the associated legal rights.

> I really, really tried to understand but cannot. It's hard enough for a
> community to be graced with the luck of having someone as Jonas Bernoulli
> write the magit package, give away de code as GPLv3, and actually maintain
> it through years.

Jonas is the current lead maintaner of Magit. Before him there were
other maintainers. And even before was Marius Vollmer, who is the
original author and who deserves all the credit about the UI design
ideas that makes Magit great.

> Now you have to also sign physical papers handing the
> copyright to the FSF. that makes the process so much difficult. What's the
> gain?
> So what if the copyright belongs to someone else. Isn't this free software?
> gplv3? don't you have the four liberties?
> Enlighten me, please.

If Emacs distributes work which are not legally assigned to the FSF and
some author of that work goes berserk, things can turn *very* nasty, on
the legal aspect. It happened on the past.

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