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Re: suspending FSF contributor agreements with immediate effect

From: Daniel Pocock
Subject: Re: suspending FSF contributor agreements with immediate effect
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2020 23:31:26 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.9.0

On 15/01/2020 04:51, Mike Gerwitz wrote:
> On Tue, Jan 14, 2020 at 15:39:30 +0100, Daniel Pocock wrote:
>> I will continue contributing code to (names of projects) retaining all
>> intellectual property rights personally during this suspension of the
>> agreement.
> Please note that the GNU Project and the FSF avoid use of the term
> "intellectual property":
>> I also wish to notify you that my contributor agreement will be
>> reinstated when FSF makes a satisfactory commitment about leadership and
>> governance issues.  I have not yet decided what will constitute a
>> satisfactory commitment, for now, I will review the proposals put
>> forward by FSF and I may contribute further criteria as the situation
>> evolves.
> The FSF has no authority over the GNU Project, and so this isn't a
> useful statement.

The assignment is to the FSF though.

> GNU requires copyright assignments for all substantial changes from
> contributors to GNU packages with copyrights assigned to the FSF.  By

There is a big difference between

a) licensing work under the GPL
b) assinging copyright to another party (e.g. FSF)

People can still do (a), publish their work with a GPL license without
doing (b).  They can suspend (b), so the code is visible and ready to be

People could also maintain a parallel repository with all the embargoed
code ready to merge.

> suspending that, your contributions will not be able to be accepted, and
> you're predicating the assignment on a condition that is not possible
> for the FSF to meet.
> I understand there are frustrations all around, but attempting to force
> change raises tensions rather than resolving them.

The GPL itself attempts to force change on people.  People say the
impact of such a license is viral.

The suspension letter template aims to have a similar effect as the GPL,
but rather than impacting code, it impacts the organization structures.

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