Re: Proposed: evolution (copyright assignment)

On Thu, 2004-07-22 at 11:39 -0600, Ryan McDougall wrote:
> IMO copyright assignment is a good idea when its assigned to a
> organization with a specific mandate to protect your code/freedom (such
> as the FSF). But its a little iffy when it comes to companies where
> direction might change in the future (*cough*fart* SCO!!). Perhaps this
> is where the understandable hesitation to assign copyright comes from, I
> don't know.
> What I do know is that while proprietary forks are possible, trying
> rather hard I cannot come up with a scenario where doing so makes sense
> to Novell, but doesn't involve severely contorting what we currently
> know of reality.
> IMO the issue is totally benign, thanks mostly to the exemplary
> behaviour of ximian/novell employees, and I believe this should not be a
> blocker. Although perhaps novell might sway some more votes if they
> assigned copyright to FSF.
> MY 2 cents.
> Cheers,
> Ryan

Looking at the actual requirements, it appears as though copyright
assignment is only necessary for > 5-consecutive-line changes, so even
if aliens invade and burn down all the major cities... erm, Novell takes
Evo proprietary at some future date, they would still have to get
permission from every < 5-consecutive-line coder who submitted a patch
to Evo, a daunting task in and of itself. AFAIK, only one of those
people must say "nope" for the whole deal to be nixed, so I don't really
see it as an issue.

The real question is whether or not copyright assignment allows for
retroactive license changes. If yes, then that could be a problem. If
no, then the community can always fork from the date before the license
change, so copyright assignment is not a threat.


    Jim Cape

    "If even one reporter had stood up during a pre-Iraq Bush press
     conference last year and shouted, `Bullshit!' it might have made a
        -- Matt Taibbi, New York Press

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