Re: Licensing and copyright

On Mon, 2004-02-23 at 11:07 +0800, James Henstridge wrote:

> 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".

A lot like a one-sided Chinese finger trap, if that makes any sense at

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