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Re: request-tracker3: license shadiness

Andrew Stribblehill <ads@debian.org> writes:

> Jesse, the upstream developer of RT3 assures me that they have no
> intention of stealing the copyright on code that hasn't been
> intentionally given to them for the purpose of inclusion in RT. He's
> in consultation with Best Practical's lawyers about how best to
> re-word it to reflect their intentions.
> Regarding the concept of taking the copyright of code: it's what the
> FSF have been doing since 1992 with Emacs. The difference here is
> that if you feel strongly about it, you get to keep your copyright.

That isn't true.  The FSF won't distribute anything they don't have
the copyright to -- but that's quite different.  If I want them to use
my patches in their distribution of Emacs, I have to sign copyright
assignment papers and transfer my ownership to the FSF.  But I can
distribute my own modified version of Emacs, and the FSF claims no
rights to the code I wrote.

This is different.  This says that if I publish my modified rt3, and
some other person submits that code to Best Practical, that Best
Practical can claim copyright on it.  That's not only non-free -- and
clearly not what Best Practical intended -- that's not even legally
effective in the USA.


Brian Sniffen                                       bts@alum.mit.edu

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