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Re: Gentoo Linux copyright / CDDL question

From: Michael Black
Subject: Re: Gentoo Linux copyright / CDDL question
Date: 18 Oct 2006 02:53:51 GMT

"Mike Cox" ( writes:
> Question to the nice folks in g.m.d.......
> I have a couple of nice patches I would like to contribute to
> the Gentoo project, but I have some doubts. As some people
> probably already know, Gentoo requires that their contributors
> transfer copyright of all contributed material to the
> Gentoo Foundation, as described here:
> However, some passages in this document seem very suspicious to
> my untrained, non-lawyer, eyes. Could any of the helpful folks in
> g.m.d please take a look and pick it apart. My questions in
> particular.....
> (1) Why would they need copyright for patches for programs they're
> just packaging, but didn't write themselves? (FAQ item #3)

But then, doesn't that solve the problem?  If the bug is with a program,
the patch should go to the program's developer.  If they are applying
the patch to 3rd party programs, then it's basically a fork, a new
version of an existing program.  If they are relaying the patch back
to the developer, then you don't need Gentoo to do it, since you
should be doing it yourself.

People forget, way too often, that the distributions have far
more in common than they have differences.  They all pull from
the same pool of the kernel, the utilities and the applications.  The
uniqueness of a distribution is over how they do installation, the
philosophy of what they include and exclude, and maybe where they
put things.

Individual distributions may have their own programs (such as the
installer programs), and they may compile the rest in different ways,
but generally there isn't much that is different from the rest.  And
if a patch is actually useful to a program, it should be folded into
the actual program itself.


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