[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Why are so many great packages not trying to get included in GNU Ema

From: Kévin Le Gouguec
Subject: Re: Why are so many great packages not trying to get included in GNU Emacs?
Date: Thu, 07 May 2020 11:40:52 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Philippe Vaucher <address@hidden> writes:

>> > It is not terrible lot of work for people to deal with those issues,
>> > but I wouldn't assume a simple program can.
>> The better option is to stop requiring copyright paperwork.
>> It is harmful to the Emacs project.
> Do copyright paperwork really protect Emacs from anything anyway? I
> never saw any problems in other open source/free/libre softwares which
> didn't do that. It's for sure a big hurdle to new contributors.

The best assessment of copyright assignment effectiveness I know of is
Bradley Kuhn's recap of the issue in 2012[1]:

> Simply put, the GPL violation defending lawyers have gotten more
> obsessed than ever with delay tactics. They try to raise every
> spurious issue they can think of to delay you, distract you, or
> otherwise try to avoid bringing their client into compliance with the
> terms of GPL.  If you don't hold all the copyrights, they'll focus on
> that issue.  For example, I had an executive of a large computer maker
> tell me that his lawyers say "copyright infringement claims are
> legally invalid unless you hold a majority of the copyrights".  This
> is completely asinine and clearly incorrect in the USA, but violators
> make these arguments all the time.  As another example: I was once
> deposed in a court case for 8 hours about the topic whether or not
> BusyBox's configuration files magically made Erik Andersen's
> copyrights fail to appear in the binary work.  That's a spurious
> argument that I spent 8 hours refuting, yet the violator's lawyer
> again brought it up in the Court as a defense that we had to refute.

To me that sort of suggests that copyright assignment is neither
sufficient (you still need enough resources to overcome "every spurious
issue" the defending lawyers will throw at you) nor necessary (since
Bradley considers it "asinine" to say "an infringement claim is invalid
without holding a majority of the copyrights").

As a layman on these matters (like most potential contributors, I
assume), it would definitely help if the FSF maintained a list[2] of
successful and/or failed GPL enforcement cases *where assignment was a
decisive factor*.  As things stand it's hard to correlate "enforcement
success" with "copyright assignment", so it's really an act of faith we
ask of new contributors…

[1] https://lwn.net/Articles/530239/

[2] Sort of like this FSFE page:

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]