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Re: AT&T source code agreement

"Stephen C. North" <north@research.att.com> writes:

> 2) The clause about feeding patches back to AT&T is interesting.  Why does
> it
> conflict with this statement in the Debian social contract:
>     "We will feed back bug-fixes, improvements, user requests, etc. to the
> "upstream"
>     authors of software included in our system"
> Is the point that you think this is a good idea, but don't want to be held
> to it?

Exactly.  It's an excellent idea.  But there are cases where it is

1) Suppose your company vanishes?  Does our right to modify the software
   vanish too, because we are no longer able to forward on our

2) Many of our users might not have good network access.  We want the
   software to be sharable between people (including their
   modifications) even to people who have only spotty network

When we started using Mach in the GNU Project, we had to deal with a
requirement in the CMU license which required all changes to be sent
back upstream.  We pointed out the problems with that, and CMU agreed
to change the requirement to a request. 

CMU no longer has anything to do with Mach.  It's a good thing for
both us and them that we are no longer required to keep them abreast
of every change we make.

Note that number (2) also explains the problem with your requirement
that poeple check your website periodically.


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