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LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 13, 2013
A report from pgCon 2013
Little things that matter in language design
Mark Shuttleworth on companies and free software
Posted May 26, 2011 8:02 UTC (Thu) by farnz (guest, #17727)
I don't see how such an agreement would help the Banshee developers; they choose to release their code under GPL terms, and Canonical/Ubuntu are complying with those terms. If one entity held all the copyrights on Banshee, I still don't see how they could use that leverage to affect Canonical's behaviour.
Copyright-wise, what Canonical is doing is legal. Its the morality of their actions that's in dispute; legal ownership of the copyright is a non-sequitur.
Posted May 26, 2011 16:39 UTC (Thu) by loftsy (guest, #75160)
Banshee could have written the Amazon plugin under a more restrictive license which prevented Ubuntu from changing the billing code. Then used their control of the Banshee source-code to allow the usage of the proprietary plugin.
Posted May 26, 2011 16:59 UTC (Thu) by mjg59 (subscriber, #23239)
Posted May 26, 2011 17:24 UTC (Thu) by loftsy (guest, #75160)
Still - it doesn't change the fact that retaining copyright provides you with options. In this case it would have to come down to relicensing.
Posted May 26, 2011 17:34 UTC (Thu) by farnz (guest, #17727)
Effectively, what you're saying is that if the Banshee developers had chosen to take their code proprietary, they wouldn't have trouble with Canonical taking advantage of the benefits of Free Software.
While that's certainly true, that's not a benefit to Free Software, and if that's the sort of thing that people are coming up with that justifies copyright assignment, then I'm going to remain sceptical of Mark's motivations.
Posted May 26, 2011 8:04 UTC (Thu) by renox (subscriber, #23785)
Only if they're willing to threaten to go from a free license to a proprietary license only otherwise their position wouldn't be much stronger.
If a project do this, it wouldn't be considered anymore as a free software project I think..
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