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Project Harmony decloaks
Posted Apr 12, 2011 16:20 UTC (Tue) by pboddie (guest, #50784)
Posted Apr 12, 2011 16:22 UTC (Tue) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted Apr 12, 2011 16:37 UTC (Tue) by corbet (editor, #1)
Posted Apr 12, 2011 16:40 UTC (Tue) by Trelane (guest, #56877)
Posted Apr 12, 2011 16:49 UTC (Tue) by Trelane (guest, #56877)
The money quote is
Unlike many other large free software projects, the kernel does not require any sort of copyright assignment from contributors. Those who get code merged into the kernel retain their copyrights on that code. As a result, the kernel has hundreds - if not thousands - of copyright holders. Getting them all to agree on a licensing change would be a challenging task. Simply finding them all is likely to be beyond just about anybody's capabilities.
Of course, this assertion does not provide any references to back it. OTOH, he'd hardly need to track down every contributor if only one could relicense the entire work as they wished. Indeed, there would almost certainly be a GPLv3-licensed and a BSD variant as well. That they do not exist suggests heavily that a single contributor cannot simply relicense the whole multi-contributor project as they wish. (If I understand the original assertion correctly).
Jeff Merkey's attempt to relicense a single snapshot of the Linux kernel is only a prominent example of the concept.
Posted Apr 13, 2011 8:34 UTC (Wed) by pboddie (guest, #50784)
I still think contributions through the normal practice of distributing code under a project-compatible licence is the way to go: that way, a project and its contributors have equal standing, and no extra magic is required. Indeed, as others have pointed out, there needs to be some convincing justification for having that extra magic around.
That said, a set of bumper stickers to communicate that magic (or lack thereof) would be a helpful thing, and maybe that could be the principal benefit of the initiative in question.
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