Subject: Re: violating a license b4 product release
From: Erik Ostermueller <eostermueller@yahoo.com>
Date: Fri, 4 Apr 2003 22:50:18 -0800 (PST)

Thank you all for your attention on this question.  My
main concern (which you've addressed) is holding onto
rights for the code I've written myself :- ).

Does the GPL (or any other license) address the
question of _code acceptance policies_?  Where
specifically?

Thanks again,

--Erik O.


--- "Karsten M. Self" <kmself@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
> on Wed, Apr 02, 2003 at 09:55:07PM -0800, Ian Lance
> Taylor (ian@airs.com) wrote:
> > Erik Ostermueller <eostermueller@yahoo.com>
> writes:
> > 
> > > I'm planning on releasing an open-source
> product,
> > > probably under the GNU license.
> > > 
> > > Must I do anything in particular to insure that
> I can
> > > safely/legally violate the terms of the license
> PRIOR
> > > to the product release?
> > 
> > Assuming that you hold the copyright on the
> product, there is nothing
> > you need to do.  The GPL and similar copyleft
> licenses place
> > restrictions on people who receive copies of the
> program: they specify
> > what some random person is permitted to do with
> the information which
> > they have received.  These licenses do not place
> restrictions on the
> > copyright holder.
> > 
> > Of course this does not apply if you do not hold
> the copyright on the
> > program, or if you assign that copyright to
> somebody else.  The FSF
> > often encourages GNU developers to assign
> copyright on their programs
> > to the FSF.  However, you do not need to do this
> in order to use the
> > GPL yourself.
> 
> Significantly, however, if you wish to accept and
> incorporte code
> contributions from others, you'll need to secure
> rights to license
> *those* works under terms of your chosing.
> 
> Actually, you'll probably want to secure a copyright
> statement of some
> form for any code you source directly from a
> contributor, if you're a
> business.  The FSF actually secures a grant of
> copyright (all interest)
> from the author of contributions, then licenses the
> work back to the
> author.  The main argument for doing this is to
> allow the FSF to pursue
> infringement cases with greater authority, and
> access to remedies not
> otherwise available.  Or so Eben will tell you (and
> I generally believe
> him).
> 
> So:
> 
>   - You own your own work.  Licensing terms don't
> apply to you (you
>     don't have to grant yourself rights).
>   - You don't own other people's work (barring
> conditions under which
>     you do -- works for hire, etc., and even then
> you'll want to cover
>     contingencies).  If you plan on doing funky
> stuff with your license,
>     you'll likely want to get this in writing.
> 
> Generally, this falls under the distinction of free
> software _licensing_
> models (e.g.:  what license(s) do I choose for my
> work) and free
> software _code acceptance policies_ (what terms do I
> request for code I
> plan to incorporate with my official release).  It's
> a distinction
> that's been made fuzzy by an awful lot of loose
> talk, misunderstanding,
> and likely intentional deception.
> 
> IANAL, TINLA, YADA.
> 
> Peace.
> 
> -- 
> Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>       
> http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
>  What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
>    Moderator, Free Software Law Discussion mailing
> list:
>     
http://lists.alt.org/mailman/listinfo/fsl-discuss/


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