Finalizing license

From: David Mertz <voting-project_at_gnosis_dot_cx>
Date: Tue Aug 19 2003 - 17:12:18 CDT

Arthur Keller <arthur@kellers.org> wrote:
|>Even if in the meanwhile we explicitly listed the
|>"GPL+revision log" license, we could potentially revert back to
|>simple GPL (assuming all contributors to the code so agreed).

|Is it only those who wrote a line of code that have to agree with
|your reversion, or is it all who contributed to the project
|explicitly?

In terms of the license on source code, I am confident that only those
people who actually wrote lines of code would need to consent to a
change in license terms. While many important background concepts may
be contributed by other folks, those background concepts should not
enable any assertion of a copyright claim.[*] In fact, we have an option
of licensing the same code under multiple terms, subject only to the
approval of code contibutors. I don't have a reason to want this for
EVM, but just so members are aware that many project choose to do this.

That said, I will start a note to the FSF at once, and try to get their
opinion on Doug's clause. Question to Doug: How (un)happy would you be
with the idea of using simple GPL, but including the revision log
requirement as a membership condition for our planned future Open Voting
Consortium?

Btw. As I wrote before, I am pretty confident OSI would have no problem
with the "EVMPL" (as I've taken to calling it, subject to anyone else
recommending a different acronym). My only doubt is about FSF, who
wrote the GPL. I have no strong objection to using the EVMPL in the
absence of FSF imprimature, as long as we seek OSI imprimature.

Yours, David...

[*] There are some complicated related issues in cases like translation.
But it is generally understood that the only IP claim usually applicable
to source code is either copyright on actual implementation, or patents
on background principles. Since none of the list members claim related
patents (or minorly, trademarks, servicemarks, trade secrets), no
indirect contributions to code should have IP issues.

--
mertz@  | The specter of free information is haunting the `Net!  All the
gnosis  | powers of IP- and crypto-tyranny have entered into an unholy
.cx     | alliance...ideas have nothing to lose but their chains.  Unite
        | against "intellectual property" and anti-privacy regimes!
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Received on Sun Aug 31 23:17:12 2003

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