FSFE Newsletter - February 2014

Daniel Pocock daniel at pocock.com.au
Sat Feb 15 17:26:08 UTC 2014

On 15/02/14 18:06, Florian Weimer wrote:
> * Johannes Zarl:
>> Let me make my thoughts more explicit (keeping the Qt example from my mail 
>> from Friday):
>> Person A wants to contribute to the Qt project, and signs the CLA
>> that allows Digia to have a dual-licensing with both GPL and their
>> proprietary license.  Therefore the CLA makes it possible to
>> distribute the code under non-free licenses. Therefore person A can
>> not value software freedom.
> Or the person is not aware what the CLA implies, or disagrees about
> the impact of those implications.
> This is a complicated topic.  I don't understand why the FSFE is
> against CLAs, considering that it granted permissions to use FLA code
> in proprietary programs (see the previous discussion about the
> agreement with Bacula Systems—the published agreement is not even
> restricted to Bacula code).

The worst CLAs are basically like employment agreements - but without a

There is a big difference between assigning copyright (or giving an
unlimited license to sub-license) to a company and giving those rights
to a democratically managed non-profit organisation like FSF(E).

There are always going to be a subset of developers who will never sign
a CLA to a third-party corporation.  As a consequence, those projects
with corporate CLAs are always going to be at a disadvantage.

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