#GCC does away with the requirement for copyright assignments to the FSF:

I think it’s a wise decision in this day and age. 👍



More importantly than the decision itself, it sets a good precident, as many companies insist on copyright assignments and have been able to point to the FSF.

There is still the issue of handling copyright relicensing when the author has passed on, but perhaps one problem at a time?

@emacsen I think relicensing it not much of an issue: it’s copyleft and can only go in the direction of more freedoms for users (as in: one can redistribute LGPL code under GPL, GPL code under AGPL, etc.).

As long as it does not become the wild west like #Linux, with enough of a mess to make the SCO lawsuit possible, I think it’s okay. (Unfortunately the Steering Committee’s statement does not rule out the possibility of creating a mess…)

@civodul @emacsen Relicensing requires approval of all copyright holders, because, well, they hold the copyright and can do whatever they want with the code.

Just because it currently exists under an open license does not imply there is no ownership any longer. It just grants the public the ability to participate in the ownership by making modifications (without modification there is no participation).

So assigning a single copyright holder is really the only...

@jens @emacsen I’m well aware of this. :-) My point is that GNU licenses are written in such a way that recipients of code covered by a GNU license can choose to use it under the terms of a “stronger” license.

For example, LGPLv3 says that one “may convey a copy of the modified version […] under the GNU GPL”. Copyright holders don’t need to be involved.


@civodul @emacsen That is one specific exception, though, rather than a general rule.

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