|Subject:||Re: Please explain the FSF copyright assignment thing|
|Date:||Tue, 18 Jul 2017 08:16:22 +0200|
|User-agent:||Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:45.0) Gecko/20100101 Icedove/45.6.0|
On 13.07.2017 21:12, Yuri Khan wrote:
On Fri, Jul 14, 2017 at 12:16 AM, Filipe Silva <address@hidden> wrote: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?If you write a package and distribute it under GPL, a malicious user can use your code in a derived work and distribute that under a non-free license, in violation of GPL.
What would stop FSF to assist defending the authors rights?
Why FSF might not take over the risk of a sue than, provide layers etc.?
If you have assigned copyright to FSF, then FSF can sue that violator and have a probability of winning and forcing them to either publish their improvements under GPL, or stop distributing their derived work.
Could you point me at some example?
AFAIK from a case sue has been brought forward by the individual author at his own risk, not by FSF.
On the other hand, if you hold the copyright, you will probably not have the resources and/or experience to sue, the violator will go unpunished, and may successfully compete with you as far as detracting users from your project. One specific case is if you yourself go evil and decide to stop distributing your package freely and make it non-free. As a copyright holder, you legally can do that. If you are the dominating contributor of your package, many of your users will stay with the new evil you. And minor contributors will probably not sue because see previous paragraph. These things actually happened. Thus, assigning copyright to FSF protects the project against you going evil.
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