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

Christopher Faylor wrote:
On Wed, Aug 16, 2006 at 10:52:49AM -0500, mwoehlke wrote:
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.

How would such a form differ from what is currently being used?

Assuming you can make a trivial change that results in a derivative, and therefore copyrightable work, I'd say the second clause would be different, i.e. would state that as a condition of the assignment, permission for other use (in particular, of future revisions to the original "work") is automatically granted without written notice. In fact, I'm not thrilled with the written notice thing, either. :-)

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

I've explained this many times. At least one in this list. I think the last time even resulted in a "zinger" from the "you're off-topic" bot.

Well, until now, I was still confused. Now I am not, and I am still grateful for that, even if you don't want credit. :-)

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.

Of course it is. That's exactly what they're doing. That's the whole point of the assignment.

Daryl's contribution wasn't going to cure cancer or cause the lame to
walk.  It was going to fix a problem in Cygwin which probably hadn't
even been noticed by Red Hat customers.

And, of course, the road that Daryl is currently walking seems to require
LOTS of help from people in the cygwin mailing lists.  Were they going to
be cited in his oft-promised-but-still-missing patch?  Should they all feel
hurt because Red Hat would be making money from their efforts, too?

I could see some consternation if major new functionality was being
offered but that is not the case here.  We're talking about a bug fix
which would benefit a lot of people.  Theorizing that Red Hat will benefit
in some tangible way from this kind of patch is an assumption based on
almost no facts.

I'm also looking to general cases (part of the reason I care is because when/if I ever have anything I want to contribute to Cygwin, I will have the same concerns, and possibly for a much larger contribution).

I agree with you as far as Daryl's case; there should be a solution here that makes him happy, especially as he implied he is OK with permissive, non-copyleft licensing.

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).

IANAL, but, IMO, "Your code" in this case is not actually "your code". You're talking about code which modifies Cygwin. To make your change you have to study Cygwin's source code. When you do that, you are almost guaranteed that anything you do will be GPLed since you have basically "tainted" yourself with the GPL.

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?

I'll leave that as an exercise for you to figure out yourself. Neither Corinna nor I have a lot of patience for the endless discussions of IANALs who think they have new points to make on this ancient subject.

The situation with Cygwin's license assignment is what it is.  Corinna
can't change it and I can't change it.  If you don't like it, then don't
contribute but please don't spend a lot of time complaining about how
awful it is because you are just making noises at people who have no
power to effect change.

...Just trying to clarify my understanding of how things work; an endeavor in which I have now (mostly) succeeded.

May the Hippo now guard this thread, that it may die in peace. :-)

vIMprove your life! Now on version 7!

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