Making kernel license upgradeable
Posted Oct 14, 2004 23:19 UTC (Thu) by giraffedata
In reply to: Making kernel license upgradeable
Parent article: Buying the kernel
even if the FSF were somehow completely taken over, wouldn't there still be the problem of breaking all the contracts the FSF has signed with copyright assigners? I seem to recall their standard assignment agreement including a clause where the FSF promises that the licensing of the code will always be "in the spirit of" the GPL, or something like that.
"successor" here means the person who bought the former assets of FSF, in particular, its copyrights. That person is not a party to the contract under which the author assigned the copyright, so he's not bound by anything in it.
On the other hand, it is common in contracts like this to say that the assignment is revocable and in the event the copyright is ever transferred, the assignment is revoked -- a poison pill. I wonder if the FSF contract has that.
Some US states view some such clauses as an interference with free trade that is not in the public interest and won't enforce them. And maybe copyright law (I know contracts, not copyright) makes a revocable assignment impossible.
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