Re: helix setup tools?

>         Also, does it make business sense for a company to turn over its
> copyright to a third party?  I can easily see competitors (say, I dunno,
> Microsoft? :) ) taking advantage of every other company's code whilst not
> submitting their own code to the Gnome Foundation.  Companies must be able
> to remain competitive, and having license control is one means by which
> to accomplish that.
>         There may also be legal implications regarding warranties,
> liability, etc.  If Helix writes a buggy program, and somebody dies
> because of it, could the Gnome Foundation be held liable?

You're using the exact same argument Microsoft is using against Linux: "Who do
you sue if something goes wrong?". The answer is that the Gnome Foundation
wouldn't be sued, the same as Microsoft never got sued over a windows crash
(they would have been bankrupt for long now!). Anyway, the GPL specifically
states that there is not warranty on the code. Moreover, the one liable is not
the one who writes the code, but the one who sells the program. All that to say
that liability is not an issue here.

>         Or, if Helix wants to go public, will the SEC let them if all
> their assets (read: code) are "owned" by someone else?  Etc.

Their assets are trademarks, reputation, ... 

>         I think the best thing to do is let individual authors keep their
> copyright, and if one of the authors is not willing to re-license their
> code under the license that Helix wishes to use, Helix can buy the
> copyright from the author and get ownership (or else re-write the
> functionality in a cleanroom environment).

I think Helixcode should keep their own copyright, but the individual authors
should give their copyright to the Gnome Foundation. I think the gnome
foundation wouldn't have a problem changing the license to LGPL or MLP, or
similar. Also, it would be the only way to prevent a future (bad) Helixcode to
sell the code written by others to Microsoft (or any other of course, but
Microsoft sounds more like a horror movie!).


Jean-Marc Valin
Universite de Sherbrooke - Genie Electrique

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