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Re: Drop the Copyright Assignment requirement for Emacs

From: Philippe Vaucher
Subject: Re: Drop the Copyright Assignment requirement for Emacs
Date: Sat, 9 May 2020 17:35:01 +0200

> > For me (and I suspect others) it was like this: I see something I'd
> > like to change in Emacs and I want to contribute. I take the time to
> > write a patch and I want to send, then I'm told I cannot send it until
> > I sign these papers. This annoys me, the papers looks pretty
> > fear-based and everywhere else open source I just send a patch and I'm
> > done. Those other open source entities don't seem to have legal
> > problems. Also it's not just something where I sign online and click
> > and I'm done, I have to print, sign, scan and send by email.
> Assigning the copyright for significant contributions is a basic
> requirement of all main GNU projects: GCC, Binutils, glibc, GDB, Bash,
> Make, Emacs, Coreutils, Grep, Guile, and many others.  It doesn't
> matter whether we feel good or bad about it, it doesn't matter whether
> we like it or not.  The FSF wants to protect its baby the GNU Project
> against hostile litigation and infringements, and the FSF lawyers say
> the assignment is necessary to be able to take the violating parties
> to the court of law and have any standing there.

Yes, I agree.

> So it is futile to fight against this, as the FSF will not change its
> position.  Please keep in mind that we don't _own_ these projects, we
> just contribute to them.  We cannot dictate the project owners how to
> manage their projects.  We can only fork them and maintain the fork on
> our own (not that I want to encourage anyone to fork Emacs).  Or we
> can sign that one-time paper.  Or we can disagree and refrain from
> contributing.  But trying to change FSF's mind is a waste of breath.

I take your word from it, but I still think it's valuable to whine
every now & then to let them know we don't like this situation.

Now maybe we'd whine to them directly instead of here, that I'd agree.
Somehow I expect my whining to be reported to them which is not very

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