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GCC To No Longer Require Copyright Assignment To The Free Software Foundation

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  • #11
    Originally posted by ezst036 View Post
    This is a great move. As long as the end result benefits open source, do we really need it to be assigned directly to the FSF? It smacks of organizational greed and nothing else.

    "Give it to us! Gimme gimme gimme" is the impression that could be taken by that old policy.
    It's worse than that. If a company develops some thing that would be useful in GCC then assigns the rights to FSF. But then the company wants to use that tech in another project they have the potential risk of FSF coming after them. Even if we assume FSF would never do that the lawyers are going to have to get involved and that drives up the price of contributing.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by ezst036 View Post
      As long as the end result benefits open source, do we really need it to be assigned directly to the FSF? It smacks of organizational greed and nothing else.
      Nobody has to be assigned to plague, plague infects everything it touches. If it touches gpl, it shall be henceforth gpl, all hail gpl.

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      • #13
        Sadly a step in the wrong direction, free software != open source. If free software fails in the future, big corps will close the code and commodify all projects, then open source will loose its importance and cease to exist.

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        • #14
          I hate copyright assignments and signing with real names and such.

          Often I want to contribute to some open source project, usually just something minor, and then it says I have to sign some legal document, and then I just abandon it.
          If it is not that, then my pull request often have multiple commits and the maintainers want me to squash them, or change the commit message for something that I already committed, and it just gets confusing and tricky. The bar to contributing to open source is too high, it is too complex.

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          • #15
            Originally posted by wizard69 View Post
            Now all they need to do is something about GPL3 and the provisions there that also drove away users.

            As for Apple I still believe that they saw huge potential in the way LLVM/Clang worked. As such I'm not convinced that copyright assignment was the only driver of the move off GCC.
            Copyright assignment was simply one of the additional impediments along the way for Apple and GCC. Apple also wanted to better integrate a compiler (via plugins and extensions) with their Xcode IDE, and those ideas and proposals were rejected by the GCC deciders (such considerations about opening up GCC to alternative extensions/plugins/frontends/backends come around every so often, from many different people and orgs). In the end, Apple decided they could achieve what they needed only by committing to LLVM. And they have put a lot of resources into it.

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            • #16
              uid313 in NetBSD land it is very simple just send the diff to mailing list or dev

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              • #17
                Originally posted by MadeUpName View Post

                It's worse than that. If a company develops some thing that would be useful in GCC then assigns the rights to FSF. But then the company wants to use that tech in another project they have the potential risk of FSF coming after them. Even if we assume FSF would never do that the lawyers are going to have to get involved and that drives up the price of contributing.
                Are you sure ? My understanding was that the company is granted back a right to use their contribution outside of free software.
                Am I looking at the right document ?
                The assignment contract we normally use has a clause that permits you to use your code in proprietary programs, on 30 days' notice. (The 30 days' notice is there because, through a legal technicality, it would improve our position in a suit against a hoarder.) Although we believe that proprietary software is wrong, we include this clause because it would serve no purpose to ask you to promise not to do it. You're giving us a gift in the first place.

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                • #18
                  IMHO, GPL only makes sense for developers who want to make profit from their code: Lots of GPL code in the scientific field falls in this category, they offer a GPL version for "free", and a non-GPL version when you pay for it. On the other hand, when you are interested in just giving your code for free, for the entire World, then MIT or similar is the way to go.

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by uid313 View Post
                    I hate copyright assignments and signing with real names and such.

                    Often I want to contribute to some open source project, usually just something minor, and then it says I have to sign some legal document, and then I just abandon it.
                    If it is not that, then my pull request often have multiple commits and the maintainers want me to squash them, or change the commit message for something that I already committed, and it just gets confusing and tricky. The bar to contributing to open source is too high, it is too complex.
                    I can sympathize, I have sometimes also hesitated to contribute some small bit for these kinds of reasons (or sometimes when it is required to open an account on some web that then I need to read all the use and conditions and privacy policy and so on, and even if they were right it would still take time for me to read it all).

                    But this doesn't mean the bar is unnecessarily high. Sometimes it's just convenience for the maintainers, but sometimes it's legally required. And I appreciate both as user and contributor that projects try to keep their legal stuff in order. That makes the freedom stronger even if it takes some work.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by jaypatelani View Post
                      uid313 in NetBSD land it is very simple just send the diff to mailing list or dev
                      NetBSD what a nightmare to contribute to. I hate mailing lists, and I don't know anyone under the age of 30 who use mailing lists.
                      NetBSD use CVS, some kind of old, version control system. I have no idea how to use it, and I don't know anyone who knows how to use it.

                      Originally posted by phoron View Post
                      I can sympathize, I have sometimes also hesitated to contribute some small bit for these kinds of reasons (or sometimes when it is required to open an account on some web that then I need to read all the use and conditions and privacy policy and so on, and even if they were right it would still take time for me to read it all).

                      But this doesn't mean the bar is unnecessarily high. Sometimes it's just convenience for the maintainers, but sometimes it's legally required. And I appreciate both as user and contributor that projects try to keep their legal stuff in order. That makes the freedom stronger even if it takes some work.
                      Yeah, I hate sites that require me register yet another account, or that require weird tools like Gerrit or whatever. I like it when its some OAuth-compatible service like GitHub or GitLab.

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