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Re: malloc: performance improvements and bugfixes

On Tue, 26 Jan 2016, Jörn Engel wrote:

> (Q) If I hold all rights for a particular piece of code and assign
>     copyright to the FSF, under what terms can I use that code myself?
> (Q) As the sole author of a piece of code, can I license that code under
>     a different license like BSD, MIT, etc. after assigning copyright to
>     the FSF?

The assignment of past changes says:

   Upon thirty days' prior written notice, the Foundation agrees to
   grant me non-exclusive rights to use the Work (i.e. my changes and
   enhancements, not the program which I enhanced) as I see fit; (and
   the Foundation's rights shall otherwise continue unchanged).

The assignment of past and future changes says:

  (d) FSF agrees to grant back to Developer, and does hereby grant,
  non-exclusive, royalty-free and non-cancellable rights to use the
  Works (i.e., Developer's changes and/or enhancements, not the Program
  that they enhance), as Developer sees fit; this grant back does not
  limit FSF's rights and public rights acquired through this agreement.

> (Q) The FSF as the sole copyright holder could relicense code under a
>     proprietary license.  Are there mechanisms in place to prevent such
>     a scenario beyond "trust us"?

Both assignments include terms along the lines of:

  4. FSF agrees that all distribution of the Works, or of any work
  "based on the Works'', or the Program as enhanced by the Works, that
  takes place under the control of FSF or its agents or successors,
  shall be on terms that explicitly and perpetually permit anyone
  possessing a copy of the work to which the terms apply, and possessing
  accurate notice of these terms, to redistribute copies of the work to
  anyone on the same terms.  These terms shall not restrict which
  members of the public copies may be distributed to. These terms shall
  not require a member of the public to pay any royalty to FSF or to
  anyone else for any permitted use of the work they apply to, or to
  communicate with FSF or its agents or assignees in any way either when
  redistribution is performed or on any other occasion.

(So the FSF can relicense on more permissive terms, but not on proprietary 

Joseph S. Myers

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