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Subject: Re: Signing off.

Re: Signing off.

From: Tim Schmidt <>
Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2006 21:59:25 -0500

On 3/9/06, Greg Haerr <> wrote:
> This isn't what happens. Björn, Daniel and Linus are
> still responsible, period. When a lawyer doesn't like something
> about an open source project, they deal with the maintainers,
> regardless of "who" contributed the code. If they don't like
> something and are powerful (read have a real legal budget), then
> they'll demand the code be removed, regardless of whether
> the maintainers have a real or fake name associated with it.
> This is because the maintainers maintain the code; the original
> contributor, fake or not, may be missing in action.
> When microsoft came after me and demanded that the
> Microwindows name be exterminated, they weren't
> concerned with "who" wrote what, since they fully
> realize they can't chase after contributions backed only
> by a "name". Instead, they forced their will on the
> maintainer (me), since I was available and actively
> promoting the project.
> Tracking names for legal reasons doesn't accomplish
> anything, in my experience. When the offending code needs
> removal, that's where CVS comes in: the contributed code
> is backed out.
> Regards,
> Greg

In my experience also, this is exactly what happens. The maintainers
need little more than an email address that patches came from to back
out all patches from a single contributor (of course, fixing the code
after those patches have been removed is another story).

I won't pretend to hold any influence in this project, but from my
experience, an email address is more 'real' online than a name. As
people have said, a name can be faked. An email address is
functional, and so, is much more likely to be accurate.

Received on 2006-03-10

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