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From: Aaron W. LaFramboise (aaronrabiddog51_at_[hidden])
Date: 2004-08-03 02:30:16

Michael Glassford wrote:
> What could we do to avoid even worse problems if that ever happens?
> Would it make sense to have people add their names to a blanket
> permissions file (or add explicit permission in their submissions) that
> would allow the copyright for their submissions to be updated under
> certain circumstances in the event that they could not be contacted for
> permission? What legal issues would be involved in such a case?

The strategy that the FSF uses is to require a formal copyright
assignment for all non-trivial contributions. That puts them into a
very good legal position, as they are able to license anything in any
manner they like; apparently complete ownership also acts as a
significant protection against claims of inappropriately-contributed
code, and gives FSF a significant procedural advantage were there ever
to be a dispute.

The downside is that going through the copyright assignment process is a
real pain. While it really isn't that big of a deal, it is a
significant barrier to potiential contributors. There also has to be
some financial backing for this sort of thing, and I don't know if Boost
Consulting, or anyone else, has the resources for this.

Aaron W. LaFramboise

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