Re: Copyright assignment

On Wed, 2004-08-04 at 10:28 -0600, Elijah P Newren wrote:
> I disagree entirely.  If you argue that we can't allow this, then you're
> also arguing that we can't allow a project that is under the BSD license
> (or MIT/X or similar) to be included in the Gnome D&DP--because such a
> project could also be made proprietary.  I totally disagree with that
> stance.  If you don't want to contribute to such a project, that's your
> choice, but I think it's totally unreasonable that BSD and MIT licensed
> projects should not be considered for inclusion in the Gnome desktop and
> platform.  Besides, as Fernando pointed out, we do have a precedent for
> required copyright assignment (libart_lgpl).

This is not the issue here.  What's at issue here is do we want people
to be _required_ to assign their copyright in order to donate code to
the platform.  The code from Ximian is not at issue -- Ximian can and
should be able to make the code they have written proprietary, as should
any contributor.  What is at issue is whether Ximian (or any other
entity) should be able to make proprietary the code of _other_
contributors.  The purpose of using the GPL in the first place is so
that code someone licenses under the GPL cannot be made proprietary.  If
we add BSD licensed code to the platform, we are allowed to license it
under the GPL, and contributor contributions could be protected by the
GPL.  Indeed, according to the GPL, we are required to make available
this code under the GPL when we distribute it as part of the combined
work that is the Gnome Desktop and Developer Platform.

I do think that allowing contributors to always license under the GPL is
an important goal for the project.  We shouldn't require that they allow
a less restrictive license to their code, since it undermines the
intentions of creating a GPL desktop in the first place.


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