What about the trivial submitters?
Posted May 24, 2004 15:41 UTC (Mon) by madscientist
In reply to: What about the trivial submitters?
Parent article: Linus on documenting patch provenance
Trivial submitters on the scale you describe (one changed character, or even 10 lines) does *not* require approval under the GNU guidelines. The GNU guidelines for developers say:
> 4.2 Legally Significant Changes
> If a person contributes more than around 15 lines of code and/or text
> that is legally significant for copyright purposes, which means we need
> copyright papers for it as described above.
> A change of just a few lines (less than 15 or so) is not legally
> significant for copyright. A regular series of repeated changes, such as
> renaming a symbol, is not legally significant even if the symbol has to
> be renamed in many places. Keep in mind, however, that a series of minor
> changes by the same person can add up to a significant contribution. What
> counts is the total contribution of the person; it is irrelevant which
> parts of it were contributed when.
Also, on copyright assignment: it's true that copyright is assigned to the FSF, but the FSF grants back to the contributor full unrestricted rights to the code they contributed. So, they can take the code they submitted (but only that code of course) and continue to use it in their proprietary applications if they would like--they have a license to use it outside the GPL.
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