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Re: Group Copyright

On Fri, Jul 20, 2001 at 09:17:37AM +0100, Edmund GRIMLEY EVANS wrote:
> On the other hand, having a large number of copyright holders of a GPL
> project can be an advantage: it means the project cannot easily be
> bought out or have its licence changed or abused, as you would need
> the consent of every copyright holder.

There was also another case over a year ago now in which a very high
profile project (at least high profile after this incident) took a pile of
GPL'd source code, closed it, and told everyone (in exactly so many words)
to fuck off.  In this case, the Copyright holder of the majority of the
code they took was threatening to sue if they didn't stop.  All it did was
force them underground.

Only "beta testers" were allowed to download anything from them after that
and "beta applicants" were screened based on their desire to ask for
source.  It was then distributed from those people to everyone else with
the official line being that since the binaries had not been released, the
source would not be either.

Essentially, these people got away with it for months, until the project
was killed off because the person running the operation was really not a
nice sort to begin with and eventually his own team had finally had enough
of his doubletalk.

Now I don't know how something like this could be prevented from ever
happening again, but I certainly don't want to be caught with my pants
down, legally speaking, if someone ever tries to pull a stunt like that
again.  Consider me cynnical if you like, but I know for sure there's
someone else out there who thinks he can get away with that kind of crap.
Not if he's looking at MY code, he won't.

Assigning Copyright to the FSF is not an option in this case, sadly.

Joseph Carter <knghtbrd@d2dc.net>                   Free software developer

Technology is a constand battle between manufacturers producing bigger and
more idiot-proof systems and nature producing bigger and better idiots.
        -- Slashdot signature

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