Re: Copyright assignment

    Lets take an example: reusing chunks of the Linux kernel into the GNU
    Hurd.  It is going to be almost impossible to have all the authors of a
    piece of Linux kernel assign the copyright to the FSF for inclusion in
    the Hurd, unless the copyright assignment requirement is dropped.

It's not impossible; we would just have to make an exception.  As long
as the license on this code is suitable, we can use it without getting
papers if we really need to.  Our lawyers say we should try to keep
the number of exceptions to a minimum.  So we do this only when it is
really important.  Sometimes we would rather rewrite the code.

Another option, which we can use for a module that have been published
already and that can retain its separate identity at the source level,
is to package it more or less separately and just link the binary
files together.  We do this whenever we want to use some existing
piece of code that has already been published.  (It would be an
impertinence to ask the author of such code to treat it as a
contribution to a specific GNU package, when we know he meant it for
more general use.)

These escape mechnisms are possible because we're not trying to make
non-free versions of our programs, just keeping the copyright
situation simple and clear for the sake of GPL enforcement.

These mechanisms would not be usable for Novell.  Novell can't use a
GPL-covered file by treating it as a library, because it would be
forbidden by the GPL to link that file into a non-free version of

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