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Bug#388141: Ask contributors a permission to relicense


I haven't followed thoroughly the thread, but there are many legal
issues at stake with such decisions, for instance in some countries such
as France, it is legally not possible to grant this kind of permission
for future works; thus this agreement below would be legally void:

Le dimanche 15 janvier 2012 à 14:45 -0400, David Prévot a écrit :
> ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
> Subject: Permission to relicense my work on the Debian website
>   I hereby give permission to relicense my work — which consist of
>   edition or translation of portions of text from one human language
> to
>   another human language, that I have provided to the Debian website
> or
>   that I will provide in the future — to any DFSG compatible license
> as
>   chosen by the web team, and announced by the Debian project leader.
> ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Moreover, in practice, I hardly see what's the difference with a
well-drafted copyright assignment. Maybe you'd be interested in reading
what FSFE has drafted for free software projects:

        The Fiduciary Licence Agreement (FLA) is a copyright assignment
        that allows one entity to safeguard all of the code created for
        a project by consolidating copyright (or exclusive exploitation
        rights) to counteract copyright fragmentation.
        This enables projects to protect their legal maintainability by
        preserving the ability to relicense code and ensuring sufficient
        rights to enforce licences in court. The person assigning does
        not lose their rights to the code either, as the FLA gives back
        unlimited usage/single exploitation rights to the author. The
        FLA also applies a set of principles for the fiduciary. If they
        breach these principles, all grants and licenses made to them
        automatically expire.
        Benefeciaries of the FLA assign the copyright in their work, and
        in countries where assignments of the copyright in a work are
        impossible, they grant the fiduciary an exclusive license (see
        §1(1) for details). Therefore, the FLA is designed to work in
        both civil and common law countries.
Best regards,
Hugo Roy                           im: hugo@jabber.fsfe.org 
  French Coordinator               mobile: +33.6 0874 1341

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