June 24, 2014
On 6/24/2014 11:46 AM, Steven Schveighoffer via dmd-internals wrote:
> . I've already relinquished any contributions to DMD (I think maybe once I submitted a PR to fix a typo in an error message).

Yes, and I thank you and appreciate that.

>
> Giving away all rights to hundreds of hours of work done on free time, or even at the core of someone's business may seem trivial to you, I'm not sure everyone feels that way.
>

That's kind of in the nature of contributing to free software. It took me a while myself to come to terms with that. It's not to say that means no reward for doing it - one is the satisfaction of making a difference by contributing to something great, the other is the getting the credit for doing so. The credit has a lot of value to one's professional career, which is why I strongly encourage contributors to use their real names on github.
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June 24, 2014
On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 12:53:30PM -0700, Walter Bright via dmd-internals wrote:
> 
> On 6/24/2014 11:46 AM, Steven Schveighoffer via dmd-internals wrote:
[...]
> >Giving away all rights to hundreds of hours of work done on free time, or even at the core of someone's business may seem trivial to you, I'm not sure everyone feels that way.
> >
> 
> That's kind of in the nature of contributing to free software. It took me a while myself to come to terms with that. It's not to say that means no reward for doing it - one is the satisfaction of making a difference by contributing to something great, the other is the getting the credit for doing so. The credit has a lot of value to one's professional career, which is why I strongly encourage contributors to use their real names on github.
[...]

Credit has a lot of value for sure -- in my case, a recruiter contacted me for an interview because he was impressed by my contributions on github. (And I'm not even using my real name as my github handle! Though I do have my real name attached to my profile.)


T

-- 
Three out of two people have difficulties with fractions. -- Dirk Eddelbuettel
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June 24, 2014
On 6/24/2014 6:06 AM, Leandro Lucarella via dmd-internals wrote:
> Yeah, that's the real way to go if the goal is to protect D's interests.
> Walter could go bananas too, or die. I know at this point this option
> might be unrealistic and the most practical solution is to keep giving
> the rights to Walter/DigitalMars, but I can definitely understand people
> being concerned about giving up their rights to a private company that
> has no legal obligation to do what's best for D instead of its own
> interests.

I've been doing this for 14 years now. If I was acting in bad faith on this, I suppose it would have been obvious by now. 14 years is quite the "long con" :-)

Not only that, switching DMD from GPL to Boost seems to be going in the wrong direction if I had bad intentions, as that definitely involves me giving up as much legal right to the code as possible. Nobody was pressuring me to do this (which a bit surprised me), I did it because it is the right thing for the D community.


>
> Then, there are a bunch of very serious projects that have settled with
> a license and don't require copyright assignment, like LLVM (which I
> think have a similar position to D in terms of being freely available
> for any use). The FSF asks for copyright assignment not to be able to
> change the license in the future (for that reason they say in the
> license that you can use any newer GPL version, at your choice), but for
> litigation reasons, to be able to enforce the license, which I guess is
> not a concern for D if you basically want to have it effectively as
> Public Domain.

Litigation works the other way, too. Someone could sue Digital Mars over the code.

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June 24, 2014
On 24 Jun 2014, at 22:05, Walter Bright via dmd-internals wrote:
> Litigation works the other way, too. Someone could sue Digital Mars over the code.

Are you suggesting that, when requiring copyright assignment, Digital Mars would in fact protect the contributors from lawsuits over copyright infringement? This is not the case. The original contributor of the piece of code could still be held liable by Digital Mars, because as part of signing the copyright transfer agreement they claimed that the code is theirs.

David
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June 24, 2014
On Tue, Jun 24, 2014 at 10:17:55PM +0200, David Nadlinger via dmd-internals wrote:
> On 24 Jun 2014, at 22:05, Walter Bright via dmd-internals wrote:
> >Litigation works the other way, too. Someone could sue Digital Mars over the code.
> 
> Are you suggesting that, when requiring copyright assignment, Digital Mars would in fact protect the contributors from lawsuits over copyright infringement? This is not the case. The original contributor of the piece of code could still be held liable by Digital Mars, because as part of signing the copyright transfer agreement they claimed that the code is theirs.
[...]

I think he's referring to a former contributor becoming disgruntled and deciding to sue Digital Mars over the contributed code.


T

-- 
A program should be written to model the concepts of the task it
performs rather than the physical world or a process because this
maximizes the potential for it to be applied to tasks that are
conceptually similar and, more important, to tasks that have not yet
been conceived. -- Michael B. Allen
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June 24, 2014
On 6/24/2014 10:41 AM, Jonathan M Davis via dmd-internals wrote:
> There literally isn't much in it that could be tweaked for a second version of the license, at least not without it being a very different license.

Again, someone may litigate Boost and part of it may be invalidated, for example, a judge may rule that the phrasing isn't clear. That would mean the license would have to be tweaked. It also is possible that Boost may not comply with the law in Country X, and that would need a tweak. With copyright assignment, these will be minor problems rather than major ones.

Also note that changing the license does not invalidate the previous license applying to previous versions of the code. Those remain intact. Digital Mars cannot retroactively take away Boost from the existing code. Any revised license would only apply to future works derived from the relicensed code.
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June 25, 2014
Steven Schveighoffer via dmd-internals, el 24 de June a las 11:10 me escribiste:
> 
> On Jun 24, 2014, at 2:33 AM, Walter Bright <walter@digitalmars.com> wrote:
> 
> > 
> > On 6/23/2014 9:00 PM, Steven Schveighoffer via dmd-internals wrote:
> >> 
> >> A statement saying that any contributors must agree that they give permission for Digital Mars to change the license of their code to any future version of boost license would be sufficient and reasonable, IMO. Remember that if any issues ever arise with boost license, the boost project is sure to fix them, and then we can adopt that new license.
> >> 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > LLVM doesn't require copyright assignment, but they admit on their site that they are aware that implies the LLVM license can never change. GCC requires copyright assignment for larger contributions.
> 
> I think as Luca says, it's to have standing to sue in court, not to be able to relicense. GCC's projects ALWAYS give the user the option of using any future version of GPL, so they have a similar stipulation to what I stated.
> 
> > 
> > If the copyright holder agrees to such a clause, what rights do they retain as copyright holder? Such open-ended clauses may also even be invalid - I've never heard of one. Going with copyright assignment is simple and direct. I don't care to try and break new legal ground here. I don't care to risk the hard work of every contributor to D by trying a novel legal theory.
> 
> This isn't too complicated, it's the same rights they have that aren't granted by the license. Basically, they are licensing under boost and any future version of boost. The GPL is the example I'm thinking of, it's very pervasive.
> 
> When I license code under a copyright, I retain the ownership rights. This means I can relicense as I please, I can write derivative works without permission from anyone else, I can redistribute however I want. But the license I grant to you dictates what you can do. All I am doing is granting you a perpetual right to relicense under a future version of boost. I don't think this is new legal ground.

I think boost + clause saying you can optionally use it with any future boost license version à la GPL should be enough for any concerns about relicensing. It works for GPL, and they have lawyers behind that decision and there are numerous projects using that. I think requiring copyright assignment could do more harm than good. Heck! DMDFE code couldn't be contributed for a long time to the GCC, even when it was GPL, because they required a copyright assignment!

If the copyright assignment requirement were well grounded, then maybe it would be justified, but to require it just based on a potential unknown and extremely unlikely fear seems pointless.

-- 
Leandro Lucarella (AKA luca)                     http://llucax.com.ar/
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Cuanta plata que aquí circula y yo que ando con gula...
	-- Sidharta Kiwi
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June 25, 2014
Walter Bright via dmd-internals, el 24 de June a las 12:25 me escribiste:
> 
> On 6/24/2014 8:10 AM, Steven Schveighoffer via dmd-internals wrote:
> >
> >We don't really care about tango's XML library's license. It's license is incompatible (note that libmysql's license IS currently incompatible), it won't destroy D. We can survive by using a compatible XML library, or writing our own. Really the arguments are exactly the same.
> 
> I've stated numerous times that one module going awry in Phobos will not destroy D, as it can be replaced. That's a lot harder with dmd. How, for example, would Kenji's pervasive and intricate contributions be unwound?
> 
> >
> >I think instead of playing a guessing game as to what some future event might do to DMD, let's first actually show what event can happen besides some nebulous unproven concerns. Living in constant fear of the unknown is not a way to plan for the future. So far, the example problems we've been given would not be solved by having sole ownership of the copyright of DMD or Phobos.
> >
> 
> If Digital Mars owned the Tango XML copyright, we wouldn't be faced with rewriting it from scratch, which is the problem we have right now. We also wouldn't have had to abandon ddbg.

If Tango were Boost licensed, you wouldn't have that problem either. Keep using the Tango example doesn't add any value, seriously. You sound like a broken records :)

External project licenses have nothing to do with requiring copyright assignment to contribute to DMDFE/druntime/phobos! What's the point?

-- 
Leandro Lucarella (AKA luca)                     http://llucax.com.ar/
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Con todas las manos que me acogotan, no puedo respirar
Con todos sus dedos me haría una torta, para festejar
Que no me estoy yendo solo de este lugar
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June 24, 2014
On 6/24/14, 3:32 PM, Leandro Lucarella via dmd-internals wrote:
> If the copyright assignment requirement were well grounded, then maybe
> it would be justified, but to require it just based on a potential
> unknown and extremely unlikely fear seems pointless.

What seems pointless to me is this long and protracted discussion around... around what? What or whom are we talking about protecting here? It's not a practical matter, and it's not a matter of principles. If protecting the copyright of one's work is high on one's list of priorities, OSS is not the best place to be.

Crap has happened before, among reasonable people, and in ways that had not been predicted. We don't have money. We don't have lawyers. We don't want to spend time analyzing, projecting, estimating, or speculating. We want to keep things simple and save everybody involved complications while keeping everything as open as possible. This very discussion is a huge waste of time wanking over nothing. What the heck are we even _talking_ about, folks?


Andrei
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June 25, 2014
Andrei Alexandrescu, el 24 de June a las 15:55 me escribiste:
> On 6/24/14, 3:32 PM, Leandro Lucarella via dmd-internals wrote:
> >If the copyright assignment requirement were well grounded, then maybe it would be justified, but to require it just based on a potential unknown and extremely unlikely fear seems pointless.
> 
> What seems pointless to me is this long and protracted discussion around... around what? What or whom are we talking about protecting here? It's not a practical matter, and it's not a matter of principles. If protecting the copyright of one's work is high on one's list of priorities, OSS is not the best place to be.

But your position is contradictory. If you want to protect the software to keep being free, then you need a proper organization, not a private company, because as I said, same as people can disappear or change their mind (yeah, even after 14 years), then companies or Gods like Walter could too. If you are offering false protection at the price of bureaucracy for contributors (is not about not wanting to cede the rights ONLY), it doesn't sound very appealing.

This is why any large groups organize themselves in institutions that doesn't rely on individuals and have well defined constitutions or missions.

> Crap has happened before, among reasonable people, and in ways that had not been predicted.

Exactly, so why crap couldn't happen with Walter or Digital Mars?

> We don't have money. We don't have lawyers.
> We don't want to spend time analyzing, projecting, estimating, or
> speculating. We want to keep things simple and save everybody
> involved complications while keeping everything as open as possible.

Then forget about copyright assignment, is an unneeded and expensive hassle :)

> This very discussion is a huge waste of time wanking over nothing. What the heck are we even _talking_ about, folks?

Apparently requiring copyright assignment for any contribution. Honestly, I think I will have a hard time convincing my bosses to cede their  right over the code they are paying me to produce. VERY hard to sell.

-- 
Leandro Lucarella (AKA luca)                     http://llucax.com.ar/
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Y nosotros? Y nosotros qué tenemos, eh? Yo te pregunto qué tenemos? El
kani kama es extranjero y los picles, los picles ya no son nuestros...
Tenemos el 'ulce de leche, que es argentino y machazo, como un pampeano
en su rancho. Tenemos el clásico, el colonial y el repostero y en
Santiago del Estero, se lo comen a pan lactal.
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