Dual Licencing and Central Copyright Holders.
Posted Oct 18, 2010 23:10 UTC (Mon) by pboddie
In reply to: Dual Licencing and Central Copyright Holders.
Parent article: Kuhn: Canonical, Ltd. Finally On Record: Seeking Open Core
2009: Nokia drops copyright-assignment completely on Qt and moves to a contributor agreement that is a based on a license from the external contributor to Nokia.
I think this highlights a very serious objection to copyright assignment obligations: that contributors who may well have a firm opinion on the licensing of their own work must relinquish control (to the party requesting copyright assignment) over how such work is licensed. Although this doesn't matter too much to people who apply permissive licences to their work - you can read the "but you can still make your own code available yourself" defence familiar from permissive licence advocacy in Canonical's agreement - it has the effect of taking works that are (or would otherwise be) available under, say, copyleft terms and effectively making them permissively licensed (or worse).
Thus, such "agreements" are like saying, "Well, we know that the project in question is GPL-licensed and that you feel that this is most appropriate for your contributions, but we want the ability to disregard all that, because we might not share your concerns or even respect your views after all." At least contributions based on licensing preserve a decent level of transparency and respect for all involved.
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