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Re: Adding advisory notification for non-ELPA package.el downloads

From: Eli Zaretskii
Subject: Re: Adding advisory notification for non-ELPA package.el downloads
Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 20:56:38 +0300

> From: Paul Rankin <address@hidden>
> Cc: address@hidden, address@hidden
> Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2017 01:58:29 +1000
> > AFAIK, the original author still owns the code he/she wrote, even
> > after the assignment, and the authorship information is not lost by
> > assigning the copyright.  If that is true, then your concerns are
> > based on misunderstandings.
> I'm sorry to disagree with you, but no, if you assign copyright to
> someone else, you no longer own the work. Hence why FSF licences the
> work back to you.

Yes, and after that, I still have my rights.  The "grant back" part is
right there in the assignment agreement, it is not something separate.

> > I would like to stress that it's IMO okay not to agree to assign
> > copyright, for whatever reasons.  We just need to make sure that
> > people don't make these decisions based on misconceptions about what
> > the assignment means, legally and practically, for the original author
> > of the code.  Once the decision is an informed one, it's eventually
> > the call of each one of us whether to assign or not.
> I agree. But let's make sure it really is informed and people know
> that assigning copyright means assigning ownership. We can argue about
> what it really means to "own" something, but I doubt anyone wants to
> hear that.

If you can still work on your code after the assignment, and can
redistribute it at will under any conditions you like, then how is
that different from ownership?  If it looks like duck, walks like
duck, and quacks like duck, then how can it be anything other than a

> I didn't really want to get into a debate about *why* I did not want to
> assign copyright, rather just that there are people out there who don't,
> for good reasons, and so decisions about Emacs development maybe should
> not be made based on the perspective that everyone would assign
> copyright if they only were adequately informed.

You make it sound like people who sign the papers do that only because
they are uninformed, which is certainly not true.

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