More info on the FLA?

Georg C. F. Greve greve at
Wed Feb 5 14:00:53 UTC 2003

 || On Wed, 5 Feb 2003 12:28:48 +0000
 || "Ciaran O'Riordan" <ciaran at> wrote: 

 co> I'm new to the list, let me know if this is the wrong place for
 co> this post.

Well. Generally questions about the FLA should be posted to
fla at  We were planning to compose a FAQ out of the most
often raised questions that could then also go on the web page.

But since you raised the questions here and others might also be
interested, I'll answer them on this list.

 co> Did the "Fiduciary Licence Agreement" just pop up out of nowhere
 co> or was there any public discussion about it?

It was discussed among the FSFs, the lawyers we work with on a regular
basis and also the associate organizations and people we work with on
a normal basis.

 co> It's mostly just a european version of the FSFs copyright
 co> assignment system right?

It could be seen as such.

 co> RMS is not mentioned anywhere at all.  I know the FSF is trying
 co> to promote itself as being "more than Richard" but did this
 co> document really go through the a legal lifecycle without it
 co> passing his gaze?

If the list contained every person who ever had a look or was asked
for opinion, it would indeed be a long list. 

But of course Richard was in the loop and also we discussed this in
person last year at FOSDEM. 

Answering your question, I guess that would count as "passing his

But the FSF is indeed more than Richard.

 co> I gather I should continue using the FSF-n.america assignment
 co> system for existing GNU software packages

Yes. The FSF Europe and FSF North America have decided that it might
be best to keep things for the GNU Project in one hand until we've set
up a structure to deal with these things in a better way.

So for GNU packages you should still assign your Copyright to the FSF
North America.

 co> but if I were to write a new package who should I assign
 co> copyright to (FSF-na or FSF-e)?

That would be entirely your choice.

It is important that these issues are addressed. 

Whether you choose the FSF North America, FSF Europe (or another
organization) makes a much smaller difference.

 co> Would a unified (americano-europeano) contract not have been a
 co> better idea?

The FLA de-facto unifies the European and Angloamerican systems.

The FSF North America currently checks whether it might be useful to
start using it for its own assignments, as well, but since this is not
the highest priority, it may take some time to decide.

Also because it is not clear when (or if) that will happen, we felt it
would be useful to publish the FLA without further delay, giving
people the chance to look at it.

It does give us some more basis to discuss on, might help other
organizations see and hopefully address these issues and could provide
a slightly different approach to the issue that could help people
understanding why it is important.

Also people who were in touch with us and knew we had been working on
it (from the community as well as some ministries and the European
Commission) were interested in seeing it made public asap so it could
be referenced to.

 co> Will there be an FSF-e presence at FOSDEM?  (kinda off-topic but
 co> it would be good to ask someone face to face)


There will be a booth and several of the FSF Europe members (including
myself). Also Richard should be there.

Please don't hesitate to get in touch. :)


Georg C. F. Greve                                 <greve at>
Free Software Foundation Europe	                 (
GNU Business Network                        (
Brave GNU World	                           (
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