Re: BSD license vs. Evolution assigment (was: Copyright assignment)

Hi Mikael,

Today at 16:32, Mikael Hallendal wrote:

> On tor, 2004-08-05 at 14:59 +0200, Danilo Šegan wrote:
>> In a sense, this is exactly the point.  With BSD-licensed code, you
>> get a sense of trust — there's no single "privileged" entity, so the
>> company who contributed most tells you that you're as good as they
>> are: you can make *their* code proprietary, in the same way they can
>> make yours.  So, there's a symmetry.
> Except there isn't a symmetry in who has written the code. I don't know
> any hard number for Evolution but Ximian/Novell has spent large amount
> of money on getting this software built. There is a big difference
> between spending a few hour at one time or a couple of time and to
> support the software with several developers several years.

Indeed — there is assymmetry in the quantity.  I do agree with the
stance of keeping assymetry in that regard (just use GPL without
assignment): I can change license to any contributions I have made
(which are lesser), and Novell can change the license to any stuff
they made (or paid for), thus, they can change the license of the
bigger portion of the codebase (assymetry, right? :).  If they cannot
relicense my contributions under something other than GPL, I have no
problem with assigning them the copyright.

> Imho there is nothing wrong with Novell/Ximian wanting to keep copyright
> of there own software. 

So, what's wrong with me wanting to keep copyright on *my* code?
Yes, it's mostly their program, and if they warrant not to misuse my
contribution (i.e. I'd qualify using my contribution to GPL program in
proprietary program as "misuse"), I'll assign them the copyright.
But, they're not warranting that, so, it means no (large)
contributions from me (ok, I'm not important here, since I never
contributed anything apart from a bunch of ngettext fixes, with some
funny #define's for their tastes — but, there're other potential
contributors ;).

> And I don't understand the arguing that it's
> better if anyone (not even contributor) can come and make a proprietary
> product out of the software than the chance of the company spending the
> money to develop the product.

Oh, I appreciate the company spending the money to develop the
product.  That's why I spent at least 4 man-days on completing
Evolution translation, submitting patches for ngettext() etc.  
But I don't want to be blackmailed with that ("you get some software,
if you start working for me").  Others have developed perfectly
competitive software without blackmailing people.

The main issue here is that I don't want to contribute to proprietary
software from other company, without actually getting something back
(with BSD license, I get a chance to make it proprietary as well).


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