[Python-mode] FSF assignment policy

Eric S. Johansson esj at harvee.org
Tue Jan 27 14:51:12 CET 2009

Andreas Roehler wrote:
> Hi (X)Emacs folks,
> as FSF assignment policy was raised again at
> python-mode at python.org, please permit to ask you a
> thing I never understood:
> AFAIS every Emacs-file is inspired by many, many others
> from the very beginning. We see almost always a plenty
> of revisions with a lot of people involved.
> So how a single developer could ever declare what the
> assignment formula demands? How could any person
> declare, he _owns_ the rights at the code, thus
> assigning it.
> Isn't that assignment policy driving developers in a
> kind of forgery? Making them false declarations,
> thus having rights about them, being everyday able to
> sue them for these false declarations?
> Or am I simply dreaming a bad dream?

actually, I would call it an affectation.  Before my hands failed, I could
afford the luxury of a strict GPL stance.  After all, I had no trouble taking a
few extra steps for political purity.  Now, I live by the rule that
functionality trumps politics.  I do what I must so I can earn a living using
whatever tools I have available.  EULA's or GPL, I ignore licensing restrictions
if they get in the way.

I now see political stances on licensing as an affectation to gain attention.
These attitudes have led us to ignoring many good pieces of software ignoring
(JFS.ZFS) and people putting effort into redundant work (est4,btrfs).  It has
kept Linux having good handicapped accessibility, especially in my area of
interest, accessible via speech recognition.  We have a good solution with
NaturallySpeaking and wine but, it's not ideologically pure.

As you can see, I only see these licensing arguments as an impediment to people
getting things done with a minimum amount of effort.  You've created some
changes that I am trying to incorporate into a speech grammar and for that I'm
thankful.  Do me a favor, hold your nose, and just sign the damn papers and
let's get on with the task at hand.


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