[Python-Dev] License cleanup

Tim Peters tim_one@email.msn.com
Sat, 18 Sep 1999 02:38:27 -0400


[Vladimir Marangozov]
> BTW, I'm surprised by the fact that in an Open Source world I'm asked
> to sign a licence agreement with CNRI or to send e-mails for
> contributed code.

[Fred L. Drake, Jr.]
>   You shouldn't be; the FSF certainly requires a signed copyright
> assignment from contributors.  I had to sign one for a bunch of
> patches I made to oleo many years ago.  It was a minor nuissance, but
> that's all.

Except they add up:  year after year, a new batch of stupid little
requirements piles up on top of the last year's, and it's a ratchet
effect -- always more, never less.  The aggregate gets to be a real
weariness on the soul.  I had to laugh when François Pinard happened to post
this on c.l.py today:

> ...
> Would it be any volunteer, at least for taking care of filling the FSF
> papers, if any are needed?  I filled more than enough of those in my
> life, I prefer to avoid the burden.

Ask Barry how many years we've been trying to sign pymode over to the FSF
<0.5 wink>.

[Vlad]
> If Python or Linux had had such constraints from the start, they
> wouldn't have been what they are today.

I sympathize, but that's really hard to say.  You don't get pig-biting weary
of this crap until you're my age <wink>.  AFAIK, Berkeley has never beed
sued over the BSD license, MIT over the X license, or the U of Arizona over
the Icon license (none, really -- Icon is in the public domain).  All the
legal mumbo jumbo in the "modern" licenses is like wearing garlic around
your neck to ward off vampires:  the threat isn't real, and if it were it
wouldn't do you any good anyway.

a-wooden-stake-thru-the-heart-is-your-only-true-defense-ly y'rs  - tim