Code contributions

brian moore bem at
Wed Nov 11 07:44:38 CET 1998

On Tue, Nov 10, 1998 at 08:54:23PM -0800, Caskey L. Dickson wrote:
> On Tue, 10 Nov 1998, brian moore wrote:
> > I think the biggest problem is for those of us in the US, though.
> > Signing such a thing could be incriminatory.
> IANAL: The FSF takes their role of defending free software very seriously.
> Unfortunately, in order to have their right to sue someone who tries to
> distrubute GnuWare w/o source recognized by the (US) courts they must be
> the legal copyright holder.  The (US) legal system will not recognize an
> assignment of copyright that isn't backed up by a contract.  Therfore w/o
> the paper, any lawsuit brought by the FSF would be immediately thrown out. 

I agree that in this lunacy run by lawyers, the signed release is
important.  The problem I was pointing out, though, that in this case it
is a questionable thing for someone in the US to sign a "I agree that
the munitions I'm exporting..." sort of document.

Sort of a catch-22: if you do major work it can't be included or the
code would be compromised, but if you sign the form so it can be
included, you've admitted to a crime.

It makes it rather difficult to do much in the US except compile.

> It's important to note that the FSF's description is filled veiled with
> anti-copyright law jabs. 

Good: copyrights make no sense for software.   (The older I get and the
more I actually have to deal with proprietary junk, the more convinced I
am that RMS is too nice.)

Brian Moore                       | "The Zen nature of a spammer resembles
      Sysadmin, C/Perl Hacker     |  a cockroach, except that the cockroach
      Usenet Vandal               |  is higher up on the evolutionary chain."
      Netscum, Bane of Elves.                 Peter Olson, Delphi Postmaster

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