Collaborative Virtual Workspace License (CVW)

Reinhard Mueller reinhard.mueller at
Wed Aug 22 12:05:15 UTC 2001

João Miguel Neves wrote:

> On 18 Aug 2001 18:38:16 +0200, Loic Dachary wrote:
>>	This sentence allows the following scenario:
>>	- you make modifications
>>	- you assign copyright to MITRE
>>	- MITRE releases your modifications under a non free software license
>>	  and publish them on their web site
>>	- you are not allowed to use your own code
>>	- you have to remove your own modifications from your machine
>>	I know this is unlikely but it's permitted by the license. Therefore
>>the freedom to modify the software is crippled, hence the license is not
>>Free Software.
>>	Do you see any flaw in this logic ? 
> The license is free software, just like the BSD license (without the
> advertising clause). What it does not do is to enforce that the future
> versions of the software will stay free software, but neither does GPL.
> If the FSF ever is taken over all the GNU project could be transformed
> into proprietary software because the GNU project has a similar clause:
> all the software must have its copyright assigned to the FSF.

This is not really true.
* It's not true that all GNU projects _must_ have copyright assigned to 
FSF. However, you are asked to do so, and it's a good choice to do so if 
you want your software to be incorporated into the official GNU system.
* You may make modifications on GPL'ed software without assigning 
copyright of your modifications to anybody, as long as your 
modifications are not part of the main development thread.
* When you assign copyright to the FSF, the FSF guarantees that the FSF 
will distribute the software only under licenses that permit free 
redistribution (paragraph 4 of the usual contract). So even in the case 
of a "takeover" your software can't be made proprietary.
* Apart from that, even when you assign copyright to the FSF you are 
granted back "non-exclusive, royalty-free and non-cancellable rights to 
use the Works as you see fit".

At least this is my understanding.

Reinhard Mueller
GNU Enterprise project

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