[Python-mode] FSF assignment policy

Barry Warsaw barry at python.org
Tue Jan 27 15:52:47 CET 2009

Hash: SHA1

On Jan 27, 2009, at 4:08 AM, Andreas Roehler wrote:

> 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?

For this audience, I'll restate my position, vis-à-vis python-mode.

I assert that Tim Peters and myself have assigned copyright in python- 
mode.el to the FSF.   I believe that Ken Manheimer has done the same,  
and I believe that Skip Montanaro has tried to do so several times in  
the past.  This should cover the majority if not the entirety of the  
current python-mode.el file.

I want it to be possible from a legal standpoint to merge python- 
mode.el and python.el, taking the best and most popular features and  
functionality from each.  I think python-mode.el should form the basis  
of the merge, with code pulled in from python.el as needed.

Andreas has the current momentum pumpkin for working on python- 
mode.el, so I want to find a way for him to do this while still  
retaining the ability to merge the two modes. Note that Andreas, AFAIK  
has not volunteered to do this merge, although others on the python-mode at python.org 
  mailing list have expressed interest.  If Andreas is unwilling to  
assign copyright to the FSF, then perhaps some other mechanism will be  
acceptable to him and to the FSF.  Please explore this possibility.


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