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Re: [AUCTeX-devel] Hello and a question about missing AUCTeX features

From: Tassilo Horn
Subject: Re: [AUCTeX-devel] Hello and a question about missing AUCTeX features
Date: Mon, 13 Apr 2015 09:25:44 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.130012 (Ma Gnus v0.12) Emacs/25.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Marcin Borkowski <address@hidden> writes:

Hi Marcin,

> (OTOH, one thing I cannot fathom is that apparently there are many
> more open-source or even GPL-licensed projects out there, and FSF is
> the only one requiring anything more than just stating that some piece
> of software is GPL'd.  Why?  Again, I'd like to know the answer.)

No, there are some more.  For example, when you want to contribute to
the Clojure project, you need to sign a copyright agreement which
installs Rich Hickey as another copyright holder.

> 9. To sum up: I understand that you ("you" as in "this mailing list",
> not "you" as in "David Kastrup") might (and maybe should) ignore me as
> a troll (which I sometimes tend to be... sorry!), but I'm genuinely
> interested in learning the answers to the questions I raised, in
> particular:
> (i) why is FSF so secretive about the copyright papers, that they are
> not available on the Internet?

I suspect that has plain organizational reasons but I might be wrong.
Feel free to suggest to them putting the CA text on

or explain why they don't.

> (ii) what are the exact consequences of signing the papers, and is it
> possible to withdraw the agreement for the FSF to have copyright on
> things I write (excluding, of course, things written/given away before
> said withdrawal)?

Note that a CA only covers one program so the CA affects only the things
you write for and contribute to that program.  You can also be more
specific, e.g., you can say that your CA covers only a fixed set of
contributions.  Then, any other change you might want to contribute in
the future requires a new CA, but it's still a viable option for
one-time contributions.

> (iii) why is "promoting proprietary software" not tolerated (and
> actively fought against) on FSF's MLs, and /at the same time/
> hostility against people writing (in good faith, as I believe) about
> their "non-free" projects (related to the "free" software discussed on
> that ML!) is tolerated (and maybe even encouraged)?

Hostility is never ok, and I can assure you that we're all pretty nice
guys on *this* mailinglist.

> (iv) what are the reasons for the view that just releasing some
> software with a license like GPL, MIT license, LPPL or other is not
> enough to ensure that no-one would be able to "change his mind" about
> /already contributed/ software?

That's discussed here:

So with a CA, the FSF can and will sue anyone infringing the license's
terms.  Without, you yourself would need to go to court if you want the
license to be enforced.  And once there are multiple contributors, in
general all of them need to cooperate.


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