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Re: Emacs CLA requirement

From: Andrei Kuznetsov
Subject: Re: Emacs CLA requirement
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2021 20:48:25 +0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Phillip Lord <phillip.lord@russet.org.uk> writes:

> I think as well as annoying, it's also extremely time consuming. Not too
> bad for a single individual, of course, but if you have a package with
> 30+ authors then it's painful. You need to find all those authors, work
> email them all, get them all to follow through the process separately
> and then tell you when they have finished. The work for the authors is
> not huge, although if they need an employer waiver of rights, then it
> can take several months while their employer works out what it all
> means.

If packages are interested in making it in-tree, I think they should
ask for FSF copyright assignment from the beginning.  Otherwise they
should just stay out, IMO.

> The practical upshot of this is, I think, less software gets into Emacs,
> fewer people contribute patches, and a much higher likelihood of
> duplicated functionality (c.f. seq.el and dash.el) between packages in
> and out of the copyright assigned pool.

There might be fewer people who contribute functionality, but I'd expect
the people who do to stay; I also think people who are willing to spend
time working to meet this particular requirement are more willing meet
Emacs' other requirements, which some people seem to consider equally
time-consuming, such as writing commit messages, ChangeLog and NEWS
entries, and documentation.

> The arguments on why assign are, I am sure, correct, but they are not
> absolute. Indeed not all of the Emacs is copyright assigned or even
> GPL'd -- there is public domain also -- so we can already see this. The
> question is which you set of consequences do you gain/suffer from most?

Indeed, but it is still generally required that new, non-trivial code
contributions have copyright assigned to the FSF, is it not?

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