Sunday, 11 January 2015

Re: [Ubuntu-bugcontrol] Please, consider reflecting on the Canonical Contributor Agreement

On Sun, Jan 11, 2015 at 09:52:49AM -0500, Stephen M. Webb wrote:
> On 01/10/2015 01:19 PM, Michael Banck wrote:
> > On Mon, Jan 05, 2015 at 10:01:49AM -0500, Stephen M. Webb wrote:
> >
> > My understanding of the FSF/GNU copyright assignment is that in their
> > part of the legal paperwork, they pledge to only relicense the code
> > under a license of similar spirit. So the above is FUD AFAICT.
>
> Selling GPL exceptions is not disapproved of by RMS or the FSF; in fact they have even enouraged it. Consider reading
> Richard Stallman's essay on this at the FSF [1].
>
> It is not FUD to say they could practice what they preach, not is it not FUD to point out they require total transfer of
> ownership of the copyright (which mean, in my country, extinguishment of my own rights as author) as opposed to the
> Canonical CLA, which only requires a license for the same rights the author continues to enjoy. Those are simple facts
> backed up by what the FSF themselves say publicly.
>
> [1] https://www.fsf.org/blogs/rms/selling-exceptions
>
> --
> Stephen M. Webb <[email protected]>

Stephen, you should re-read what you link to. If FSF wants to allow others to embed their work in proprietary software, they don't sell an exception, they use a permissive licens:

To quote:

there are occasional cases where, for specific reasons of strategy, we decide that using a more permissive license on a certain program is better for the cause of freedom. In those cases, we release the program to everyone under that permissive license.

This is because of another ethical principle that the FSF follows: to treat all users the same. An idealistic campaign for freedom should not discriminate, so the FSF is committed to giving the same license to all users. The FSF never sells exceptions; whatever license or licenses we release a program under, that is available to everyone.

Neal McBurnett http://neal.mcburnett.org/

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