Re: Stormy's Update: Week of December 7th

On Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 2:43 PM, Luis Villa <luis tieguy org> wrote:
2009/12/14 Stormy Peters <stormy gnome org>:
> Had a great GNOME Advisory Board meeting about events and copyright
> assignments. The copyright assignment discussion in particular was very
> dynamic.

Care to expand on that one? :)

The result of the discussion should show up from the board soon.

That said, the discussion started because of Clutter and its copyright assignment and the fact that that is blocking it's inclusion in GNOME 2.28. However, since nobody from Intel was on the call, we tried to keep the discussion to copyright assignments in general.

We wanted the Board of Advisors input on whether we should have a policy about copyright assignments and what it should be. (As our downstream partners, it's important to have their input.)

There were a lot of good points made by both "sides". Interestingly enough the sides were not divided by company employees vs community. There were pro and anti copyright assignment folks in both the board of directors and the board of advisors. It was also a very good debate with everyone bringing passion but not anger. (Which I really appreciate right now. :)

Some points that came up:
* Copyright assignments done by companies are different than those done by a nonprofit.
* You can assign copyrights back to the contributor too.
* Bradley Kuhn made some of the points he made in his blog post:
* Copyright assignments are a barrier to entry.
* Copyright assignments can create paperwork.
* Some good projects (that we might want to include in GNOME) have copyright assignments.
* Copyright assignments help companies invest more in open source software projects.
* There's a need for an industry standard copyright assignment. (Strange and different clauses just increase the problems.)
* You can get some of the benefits of copyright assignments (and other benefits) by instead allowing multiple entities to hold copyright like GNOME does.
* Copyright assignment policies may cause forking.
* Copyright assignments enable easier relicensing. (Which can be both good and bad.)

These are not all my points but points that came up during the meeting.



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