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Re: Loading a package applies automatically to future sessions?

From: George Plymale II
Subject: Re: Loading a package applies automatically to future sessions?
Date: Thu, 01 Feb 2018 16:36:13 -0500

> This policy gives us (1) confidence we have the right to put the code
> into Emacs,

Is not a statement of my permission in an email enough? If an issue came
up in a court of law, couldn't you just subpoena the email message where
I (or whoever else) granted you permission to have my code? At least,
that would take away the hassle factor of paperwork.

Heck, in your FAQ about the GPL, you say:

"We [keep the copyright status of the program as simple as possible] by
asking each contributor to either assign the copyright on contributions
to the FSF, or disclaim copyright on contributions."


As I told Stefan in my initial message about this, I would be fine with
releasing my contributions into the public domain. I think that makes a
lot of sense; I'm giving the code away so anyone can use it however they

Of course, all of this would probably not be necessary were it not for
the controversial nature of the GPL which leads to lawsuits a lot more
than other open-source licenses.

> (2) a firm basis for enforcing the GPL.
> It is sometimes inconvenient, but it is hardly fruitless.
> On the contrary, it is very important.

All that you can do to enforce the GPL is sue people. Isn't there enough
litigiousness in the world today? Moreover, there is no other fruit
borne by these restrictions than that won in a court battle. You
certainly aren't recruiting more developers in any projects which are
subject to this policy. That is worrisome when you have core developers,
such as Eli, saying that the Emacs core is falling by the wayside
because there are too few newcomers who will delve into the guts of the
project. And there are few newcomers at all.

> If you are too young to sign, you could ask your parents to sign on
> your behalf.

What if they can't? What if I don't have parents? What if I live in
foster homes and my legal guardian is frequently changed? I don't see
how a policy which prevents such people from contributing to the project
is very helpful.

- George Plymale II

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