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Subject: Re: Licensing and Copyright Issues

Re: Licensing and Copyright Issues

From: Ray Lambert <codemonkey_at_interthingy.net>
Date: Tue, 11 Sep 2007 11:33:28 -0400 (EDT)

Here's my $.02 ...

First, as for my code, I'm happy releasing it under any version of the GPL
and I actually encourage the group to move to GPLv3.

I would recommend that, upon making this move, we require that all
submitters henceforth explicitly license under "GPLv3 or later" and we
should change our COPYING file and source headers to reflect this fact. I
believe that doing this covers us in the face of untimely deaths (and
other situations in which copyright ownership becomes murky). If the code
is licensed under this proviso, then it really doesn't matter who owns the
copyright because we'll still perpetually retain the rights to use it, and
relicense it, so long as we release under the GPL. (Hence, a foundation
or copyright holding group isn't necessary, IMO.)

As for our recently dear departed friend, I agree with what has been
written already and I'm not certain how to proceed. Would it be possible
to remove his stuff from the distribution until such time as we can speak
to the family about it? Alternately, I think it may be okay to just go
ahead and relicense his code and continue to use it based on the murkiness
surrounding the "GPLv2 or later" issue and also the fact that I suspect
his family will not be terribly concerned about it (what is it really
worth anyway? If it was something of great value then I can see the
family being concerned; but is it? Really?). There's also the fact that
his act of releasing his code to the group implicitly acknowledges that he
*intended* for the group to have it and to continue using it perpetually.
IANAL, but I do know from my reading that *intent* figures heavily in the
court room (at least in the US and I suspect in many other places as
well).

Lastly, I don't mean to be insensitive but, what exactly happened to HCl?
It saddens me to learn of this, as it does whenever someone passes before
his time, and I can't help my curiosity. If it can't be stated
respectfully though then please ignore my inquiry. (Thanks.)

~ray
Received on 2007-09-11


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