Re: [gst-devel] Re: Helix Player virtual team meeting

On Wed, Dec 10, 2003 at 10:17:20PM +0100, Thomas Vander Stichele wrote:
> (cutting some lists out of the cc:)
> Hi Rob,
> > Which part of the Open Source Definition do you reckon the RPSL is in 
> > violation of?
> >
> It's not a matter of whether it is opensource or not.  It might very
> well be certified and seem to be in line with open source, but ...
> > Quoting the portion of the RPSL that you quoted out of context is very 
> > misleading.  For starters, I encourage everyone to look at the whole 
> > license:
> I also checked the whole license.  I don't really see how quoting only
> part of the license (ie the part that Julien wanted to focus on) makes
> that part of the license any less valid.
> Reading that part again and again, it still seems to say that all
> copyright of anything contributed by people is assigned to real.  If
> this is not the case then please tell us what it is I am misreading, but
> quoting other parts of the license doesn't really change the fact that
> this part of the license seems to say so.  That is also what other
> developers I talked with seem to get out of it.  

There appears to be a bit of confusion about what is being discussed.
There are two licenses, the RPSL[1] and RCSL[2], and also the "Terms
of Use"[3] (which I assume is also similar to the membership agreement,
which I apparently am not allowed to see without giving out a valid
email address).

The RPSL, which covers much of the non-codec parts of Helix, does not
contain anything about copyright assignment, and is very likely to be
an open source license.

Note that the OSI has incorrectly accepted a few licenses in the past,
so merely being accepted by OSI is not an indication that it's an
acceptable license.  It does, however, significantly raise the bar for
which people whose comments you bother listening to.  There aren't very
many people who can credibly argue why a copyright assignment
requirement in a license is unacceptable (it's not _specifically_
forbidden by the OSD), whereas a policy of copyright assignment for
a project is OK.  The GNU project has a long-standing tradition of
requiring copyright assignment for contributions to GNU code, but
obviously does not require it as part of the license.

Copyright assignment has been primarily rejected ouside of GNU itself,
as can be seen by the many sucessful projects that don't do it, and
also the conversion of the Mozilla project away from it.  I imagine
that this is because only the FSF has built up enough trust that
people believe it will not attempt to "steal" the code and take it

I strongly encourage Helix to reconsider it's copyright assignment
policy.  It may be useful in the case of relicensing difficulties,
but what does it matter if you can't build a community around it
because nobody will contribute?

By the way, copyright assignment is one of the reasons I don't
contribute to GNU projects.



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