FSFE Newsletter - February 2014

Carsten Agger agger at modspil.dk
Fri Feb 7 14:17:39 UTC 2014

On 02/07/2014 02:58 PM, Fabian Keil wrote:
> Fellowship of FSFE <fellowship at fsfeurope.org> wrote:
>> - Matthew Garrett criticised Canonical's contributor agreement[19].
>>   Other copyright assignment tools, such as FSFE's Fiduciary License
>>   Agreement[20] and the GNU Project's copyright assignment, enable
>>   developers to prevent their code from being used in non-free software.
>>   In contrast, Canonical's agreement explicitly states that the company
>>   may distribute people's contributions under non-free licenses. If you
>>   value software freedom, FSFE recommends you not to sign agreements
>>   which make it possible to distribute your code under non-free
>>   licenses.
> Is this recommendation, the reasoning behind it and the process
> that led to it documented somewhere?
> The recommendation seems to imply that people who prefer or don't
> object to non-viral free software licenses don't value software
> freedom.

It does not, I think.

Whether you prefer to release your code under a copyleft or more
permissive license while still retaining the copyright yourself is a
completely different matter from when you sign off your copyright
without any guarantee that your code won't be released under a
proprietary license.

As far as I can see it's too completely different situations; it's the
assignment that makes the difference.

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