[Python-Dev] License cleanup

Barry A. Warsaw bwarsaw@cnri.reston.va.us (Barry A. Warsaw)
Fri, 17 Sep 1999 12:30:21 -0400 (EDT)

>>>>> "VM" == Vladimir Marangozov <Vladimir.Marangozov@inrialpes.fr> writes:

    VM> BTW, I'm surprised by the fact that in an Open Source world
    VM> I'm asked to sign a licence agreement with CNRI or to send
    VM> e-mails for contributed code. If Python or Linux had had such
    VM> constraints from the start, they wouldn't have been what they
    VM> are today.

Note that the FSF has been requiring signatures for a long time.
Actually, their requirements are IMHO more onerous because they
require you to assign your copyrights to the FSF.  Their lawyers have
told them that they cannot defend the copyright of, e.g. Emacs, unless 
they own the copyrights to the entire codebase (or at least, anything
that they couldn't rip out, throw away, and not completely cripple the 

CNRI's viewpoint is less drastic, but still important.  It means that
you retain the copyright on the code (good for you), but you give us
permission to use it as we see fit (good for us /and/ for you :).
Otherwise, it would be possible for a malicious person to contribute
something really vital and useful, wait for it to become
indispensible, and then say, "oops, we really didn't mean to let you
use that code, sorry!"