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Re: Lack of Cygwin contributors? Was: How is textmode/binmode determined ...

Chris Faylor wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 30, 2000 at 01:06:40PM -0800, Kendall Bennett wrote:
> >I am sorry, but do you really expect developers to contribute to a
> >project with such draconian licensing? I am not going to spend my
> >free time making Cygwin better so that Cygus/Red Hat can sell
> >commercial licenses of it and make money from *my* fixes and/or
> >enhancements.
> Yes, as a former net developer, I can expect this.  Before I worked at
> Cygnus, I wanted to contribute to a cool free software project.  I
> didn't really care if my efforts were sold by Cygnus to some big
> company.  So, I started working on Cygwin.  I assume that the
> contributors that we do have currently feel the same way.

Hang on.... I'm confused here.... 

Just recently I got into a blazing row with the person who wrote
the following statement:-

            Open source is designed to advance the intellectual property 
            of the corporation at the expense of effort by individuals outside 
            the corporation. As such, it falls under corporatism, as defined 
            in John Ralston Saul's dictionary The Doubter's companion.

I completely disputed this statement, but he would not budge from his stance.
Eventually I wrote directly to RMS and he reassured me that it was nonsense.
However, reading the above discussion it would appear that the statement
does indeed hold in this instance? Only I don't fully understand how it 

Surely if a non-Cygnus contributor makes a contribution to Cygwin then this
contributor still implicitly retains his copyright in that contribution
(obviously this is somewhat dependent on the significance of the 
contribution). In that case, the only way that Cygnus may use that code 
contribution is if it is licensed to them -- presumably under the terms
of the GPL? In which case, how is it legal for Cygnus to then license
that contribution to a third party under some license *other* than the GPL?

I realise this is now moving into gnu.misc.discuss territory, but since it
was brought up here, and this is the first time it has occured to me that
Cygnus may be increasing its intellectual property at the expense
of others' generosity, I thought I'd better ask for clarification here.

Presumably if every contributor released each contribution they made 
as a part of a *complete distribution* of Cygwin and under the GPL,
then Cygnus would most definitely not be allowed to license this 
to third parties under a proprietary license?

Btw, although it might sound like it, I'm *not* having a go at Cygnus,
I'm just interested in the way things actually work!


| ian miller                   | My other MUA is a GNU.                       |
|  |           |

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