A bit of a mountain out of a molehill, I think.
Posted Mar 19, 2013 21:40 UTC (Tue) by bkuhn
In reply to: A bit of a mountain out of a molehill, I think.
Parent article: When does the FSF own your code?
Jon Corbet wrote:
by signing the FSF's agreement, one may be giving away ownership of code that was never intended to be submitted to the project, and even RMS can't say where the boundaries are. The FSF's "liberal license grant-back" (30-day notice required) may be cold comfort in such cases. I believe that issue is worthy of attention and discussion.
Difficult questions about scope of copyright are always likely to receive a
give us a chance to think about it answer from the FSF. I'm sure everyone would prefer that the FSF continue its consistent care whenever providing an answer to such questions. It's one of the ways the FSF has maintained its clarity and consistency on these issues for so many years. There are people (whom we both know) will give rash answers and unresearched answers to such questions on mailing lists. FSF folks aren't among them.
The FSF's "liberal license grant-back" (30-day notice required) may be cold comfort in such cases.
I'd note your article doesn't say which cases you're talking about here where the license grant-back wouldn't solve the perceived problem. AFAICT, (and admittedly IANAL and TINLA), about the only thing one can't do with the license grant-back is enforce the copyright license itself (e.g., enforce the GPL). There's been a debate about the question of assignors wanting to take back GPL enforcement for themselves instead of entrusting FSF to do it, but if you're trying to relate this discussion to that one, you're being awfully (and unnecessarily) circumspect about it.
And, if we're talking future works, the author could cancel the agreement anyway for future works, and then have copyright control going forward regardless.
What Jambunathan is exploring is how he can stir the anthill, make a mess, and get attention. That's not really relevant here either.
If you believe that it's not relevant, I'm now pretty confused why you'd use it as the primary example in your article at all. I understand you want to raise an important issue, but why use an example that you agree is designed to make mountains out of anthills (to mix our two metaphors fully :).
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