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Re: Why does the FSF need copyright *assignments*?

From: Rui Miguel Seabra
Subject: Re: Why does the FSF need copyright *assignments*?
Date: 28 Jul 2003 12:21:42 +0100

On Mon, 2003-07-28 at 10:54, Bernd Jendrissek wrote:
> Why do GNU projects require copyright *assignments* to the FSF before
> being able to accept contributions?

Why does the FSF require that contributors to FSF-copyrighted programs
assign copyright to the FSF? If I hold copyright on a GPL'ed program,
should I do this, too? If so, how?
        Our lawyers have told us that to be in the best position to
        enforce the GPL[1] in court against violators, we should keep
        the copyright status of the program as simple as possible. We do
        this by asking each contributor to either assign the copyright
        on his contribution to the FSF, or disclaim copyright on it and
        thus put it in the public domain. 
        We also ask individual contributors to get copyright disclaimers
        from their employers (if any) so that we can be sure those
        employers won't claim to own the contributions.
        Of course, if all the contributors put their code in the public
        domain, there is no copyright with which to enforce the GPL. So
        we encourage people to assign copyright on large code
        contributions, and only put small changes in the public domain.
        If you want to make an effort to enforce the GPL on your
        program, it is probably a good idea for you to follow a similar
        policy. Please contact <> if you want more

[1] Why the FSF gets copyright assignments from contributors

+ No matter how much you do, you never do enough -- unknown
+ Whatever you do will be insignificant,
| but it is very important that you do it -- Gandhi
+ So let's do it...?

Please AVOID sending me WORD, EXCEL or POWERPOINT attachments.

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