Re: Issues cooperation

    Copyright assignments will certainly be voluntary.  It would be stupid
    to disregard code contributions just because someone wants to keep the
    copyright on their code.

Various lawyers have given the FSF the same advice about copyright
papers (assignments and disclaimers).  Their advice is that to have a
good chance of enforcing the copyright on a program in court, you need
to keep its copyright status as simple as possible.  This means that
the number of copyright holders should be as few as possible.

The ideal is just one copyright holder for the whole package.  It
isn't necessary to attain that ideal exactly; an occasional exception
is ok.  But there should not too many exceptions.  The organization
that will go to court should hold the copyright for nearly all of the

So it is important for the decision about these exceptions to be made
in a central way, by someone who understands the issue and is grants
exceptions rather reluctantly.  Otherwise exceptions might be issued
so easily that they become numerous--the rule, rather than the
exception--and the copyright situation will be quite complex.  That
defeats the purpose.

You may well be right that it is unfeasible to get papers from all the
contributors to existing major pieces of GNOME.  It is not worth
discarding existing working code on that account.  However, we can
avoid increasing the gap in the future.  Also, for new pieces that are
started in the future, and for pieces that currently have just a few
contributors, it is feasible to do this job right, and I think we
should try to.

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