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Re: New FS driver (and support for a new OS).

From: Wolfgang Sourdeau
Subject: Re: New FS driver (and support for a new OS).
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2000 00:57:09 -0500
User-agent: Wanderlust/2.3.0 (Roam) WEMY/1.13.6 (Life is balance) FLIM/1.13.2 (Kasanui) APEL/10.2 Emacs/20.7 (i386-debian-linux-gnu) (with unibyte mode)

>>>>> In article <address@hidden>, Kurt Skauen <address@hidden> writes:

    Kurt> The more I think the more certain I'm that I will never give away the
    Kurt> copyright of my code to FSF (I shiver by the idea of even proposing
    Kurt> it). I'm glad to see that the patches might still be accepted. The
    Kurt> driver will ofcourse be GPL'ed and even though I want to keep the
    Kurt> rights to do whatever I want with my version of the driver the GPL
    Kurt> will guarantee that the version that goes into GRUB and any
    Kurt> modification done to that by others remain free, I don't need FSF to
    Kurt> guarantee that. If someone want to "steal" the driver I seriously
    Kurt> doubth that FSF whould care anyway.

There has already been two different situations where the FSF settled
to make someone respect the GPL. The first one was when NeXT Computer
(which has been eaten by Apple Computer) released their Objective C
compiler. At the beginning, it seems that NeXT was not aware exactly
of the requirements of the GPL. They had an arrangement and finally
released their source code (which became the GNU Objective C

A far less impressive case was about ncftp not being GPL'd while it
was using readline (which is a GPL'd library, in comparison to a lot
of other libraries which are LGPL'd). Same issue, ncftp ended to be
GPL'd until recently, when Mike Gleason decided to get rid of readline
dependency. In any case, the FSF defended the GPL.

The FSF proposes to take copyright on someone's code because some
people don't have enough money to go in court after a company. You
have to see this as a service.

Now, with free software there is one more problem. As a lot of people
can hold the copyright of different parts of the code of the same
project, it is more difficult in such a situation to defend the GPL in
court because everyone having done a substancial contribution would
have to defend their own case. This is the reason why the FSF asks
maintainers of FSF copyrighted project to require substansive
contributors to sign a copyright delegation.

You have to make the difference between an author and a copyright
holder. GNOME, which copyright has been mostly assigned to the FSF is
still considered as the labour of Miguel de Icaza and his hacker
fellows, and they are still the people who get the credit for it not
the FSF.

For more information, consider reading the documents on the FSF
website. They are very informative.


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