Re: Licensing and copyright

On 22/02/2004 8:34 PM, Jean-Michel POURE wrote:

Worst case scenario 2:

"After receiving a copyright assessment, the FSF becomes the sole owner of the original work. If one day the FSF is forced to pay a large sum of money, for example in case of patent infringement, the judge may decide to use any means to revover the money, including rewriting the licenses and later selling them."

Trust is not the issue, I only prefer to live by my own country rules. We can only fight and defend Free Software at an international level.
Before guessing about the worst case senario of what might happen to code you donate to the FSF, maybe it would be a good idea to review the standard assignment agreement they use. I can't find an up to date version, but here is a copy I found on a mailing list:

The FSF agreement is not one sided like some agreements. In exchange for assigning your copyright, they promise to (a) release it under a copyleft (see the actual form for exact wording), and (b) grant non-exclusive rights to you to do whatever you want with your work (ie. you can do pretty much whatever you want with your code after assignment).

If the FSF went evil and took all the code people had assigned and made it proprietary, they would be breaking their promises in the assignment contract. If the contract was voided then the ownership of the code would revert to the original owner, which would mean they had no right to change the license on the code.

This means that you _don't have_ to trust the FSF completely when assigning code. When you think about it, this would also make it impossible for them to relicense all of their code under an "evil GPL version N+1".


Email: james daa com au

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