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Re: Rsync over ssh (pulling from Cygwin to Linux) stalls..

Christopher Faylor wrote:
On Wed, Aug 16, 2006 at 09:22:52AM -0400, Williams, Gerald S (Jerry) wrote:
mwoehlke wrote:
So...  are we just disagreeing over "safe", or are you actually telling
me that RH (and thus Cygwin) would *refuse* to incorporate public
domain code?
In fact that is the case, and it is a shame.

In RH's defense, there is some legal vagueness around public domain
code (and a few strange laws that add to the confusion by trying to
accommodate shareware and such).  But one would think that as a huge
proponent of open source development, RH lawyers would have figured it
out by now.

What Red Hat lawyers (and I, the IANAL, for that matter) have figured out is that if someone sticks a "Public Domain" tag on a piece of software, you still have to go through due diligence to find out if the software is actually encumbered or not since anyone with a text editor can put anything they like in a file. That would mean getting a release from the person's company.

Ok, *that* actually makes sense. However, that /should/ just mean that they need proof (from whoever would sign an assignment) that the code is public domain, which means it could still *be* public domain, with all the protections (such as they are) that implies.

At any rate, I am less confused now; thanks. :-)

So, I don't see how public domain buys you much.

Oddly enough the FSF has the same requirements.

The irony of course is that the availability of a commercial license
makes it look like Daryl's fears are in fact very well founded.  :-)
I don't care if they want to make money, but their current policy
actually prevents code from being released into the public domain.
Even if their real motivation is not monetary, that is a consequence
that I'd rather avoid.

Again, Red Hat isn't doing anything different than the FSF.

...Except offering commercial, proprietary licenses. :-) I'm sorry, but it still sounds to me like Daryl is right; signing an assignment to RH is giving them carte blanche to do whatever they want with the code. You're right of course that assigning to FSF is technically the same thing, except that, as Daryl pointed out, FSF has a reputation for "honesty", whereas RH outright tells you they *will* sell your code as proprietary.

That said, the same applies to any permissive license (which Daryl indicated he is OK with); the difference being that the code (at least in its original form) is then available under that permissive license and not *only* GPL.

The upshot of which is that you can't contribute unless you're willing to let RH do whatever they want with your code. If you're willing to let ANYONE do anything they want with your code (i.e. a permissive license or public domain), then I still think there is a problem if RH won't accept such code (with the acknowledgment that CGF is correct about due diligence; the licensing has to be sound). Otherwise, once RH releases a GPL'd instance of your code, it is GPL'd forever and there is nothing wrong with the assignment (except the original statement; no matter what you have to give RH permission to do anything).

Red Hat does not have any interest in the "public domain".  Where Cygwin
is concerned, they need to be absolutely certain that they either own
the code or that the code's license is conformant with their needs.

That would imply that any permissive, GPL-compatible, non-copyleft license would suffice. So, is there precedent for accepting code that has been placed under such a license?

vIMprove your life! Now on version 7!

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