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Re: Loading a package applies automatically to future sessions?

From: Phillip Lord
Subject: Re: Loading a package applies automatically to future sessions?
Date: Fri, 02 Feb 2018 12:19:39 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/26.0.91 (gnu/linux)

George Plymale II <address@hidden> writes:

>>    FSF agrees to grant back to Developer, and does hereby grant,
>>    non-exclusive, royalty-free and non-cancellable rights to use the Works
>>    (i.e., Developer's changes and/or enhancements, not the Program that
>>    they enhance), as Developer sees fit [...]
> Huh, well I wasn't aware of that and it sounds fine to me. Are you sure
> that there's no strings attached?

There are some strings -- for instance, you are guaranteeing that you
actually own the copyright in the first place. I didn't know about the
grant back, incidentally. For Emacs, it makes not practical
difference. As far as I can see, it's not possible to release Emacs code
that is not GPL or public domain anyway, since it automatically links
with Emacs.

>> Your wording ("it's not right to force someone to give you the rights to
>> their code while in the same breath talking about freedom", "This kind
>> of stuff doesn't encourage any openness or 'hacker culture.'") suggests
>> a different understanding of the FSF policy than what the FSF itself
>> expounds, as exemplified by the passage I quoted above.
> Well, my understanding of the policy was that one's _contributions_ are
> owned by the FSF. I.e., that you have to sign waivers which tell the
> FSF, "Hey, I give up all rights to own any code that I give you guys in
> these certain projects." To me, that seems hypocritical and it seemed
> that indeed the actual FSF policy versus what the FSF itself expounds
> were in disagreement. But, maybe I'm incorrect about that if that above
> passage is really what it sounds like.

It does require copyright assignment, yes. Whether that is hypocritical
or not is up to you. For Emacs, copyright assignment makes little or not
difference to what you can do with the code. So I don't think that's an

It is a significant practical issue for sure and involves a lot of
book-keeping for package maintainers.


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