Re: Copyright assignment


On Mon, 2004-08-02 at 14:09 -0400, Miguel de Icaza wrote:
> I would not be too scared about it.   Today am working for Novell,
> because I believe in what we are doing here with free software, but I
> have a deeper commitment to the free software movement, and in the past
> I have encouraged people to sign off copyright to projects that are
> owned by companies that have contributed to get us where we are today.

Adding a bit to Miguel's comments, which I agree with...

As far as I can tell, the only real negative impact of copyright
assignment on an individual is that there *is* the possibility that
one's contributions could be used in a proprietary fashion at the
company's discretion.  I don't think that's likely to happen any time
soon, but it's a possibility if Novell turns evil.  That's something
that potential contributors may feel strongly about, and I feel that
alone should be the issue we're debating when the nebulous issue of
"copyright assignment" is brought up.

Whether the Evo developers are barred from hacking on Evo seems to me to
be an orthogonal issue, and in the hypothetical it's really not that
different from the attrition of contributors that is just a part of life
in any open source project.

The community can fork the project if it became necessary, and speaking
as an old skool Ximian person I can tell you that the open source
culture is still very pervasive here.  I'd speculate that few Ximian
hackers would stay if Novell one day turned evil and tried to keep
people from working on open source projects, particularly Evolution.  My
guess is that the Evo hackers would be rather employable elsewhere if
that happened.


P.S. Please read the copyright assignment form here:

Among the things in the agreement is a grant of all rights back to the
original author and also the agreement to distribute the work under at
least the GPL or other DFSG-compliant license.

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