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Re: Hypothetical situation to chew on

On Tue, Jan 04, 2005 at 10:37:30PM +0000, Scott James Remnant wrote:
> So here's a hypothetical situation; say the current upstream maintainer
> was to announce in a very public place, with Cc's to all known
> contributor e-mail addresses, his intent to change the licence of the
> code to GPL-2 (including documentation) and give a full list of
> everything that would fall under it.  And then was to give a period (say
> 28 days) for objections to be raised.
> If none were raised, could they then change the licence?

Not with any kind of legitimacy. The copyright holders who have not
explicitly agreed to the new license would be fully justified in
ignoring it, and treating all licensees as if they were still working
to the old one. No private individual can make a declaration of the
form "Respond now or forfeit your copyright".

> If not, what procedure would be needed to make the software DFSG-free?
> I'm going to guess clean-room rewrite of all of the documentation, and
> of any code that could be affected?

That would work. Alternatively, just cut anything whose author can't
be traced or contacted - there's no need to throw away stuff written
by somebody who agrees to the new license. That does mean line-by-line
verification though, so it might not be practical (depending on
whether contributions are concentrated in some areas or uniformly

  .''`.  ** Debian GNU/Linux ** | Andrew Suffield
 : :' :  http://www.debian.org/ |
 `. `'                          |
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