[implementations-list] Fwd: [gnu.org #393190] Dear FSF clerk, here are all my questions about copyright assigment

Jason Spiro jasonspiro3 at gmail.com
Sun Feb 1 05:56:51 CET 2009

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Donald R Robertson III via RT <copyright-clerk at fsf.org>
Date: Fri, Jan 30, 2009 at 2:28 PM
Subject: [gnu.org #393190] Dear FSF clerk, here are all my questions
about copyright assigment
To: jasonspiro3 at gmail.com


Thanks again for your interest. The FSF does not accept assignment
contracts from the wild, so we don't provide PDFs of those forms.
Although it is possible to have everyone assign their work now, I
believe it is our policy to not accept assignments when it isn't clear
that the work is becoming a part of GNU. In general, even when it is
just an individual seeking to assign work and they haven't contacted the
maintainer to see about getting their work accepted, I tell them to
hold-off on the assignment. Sometimes, if a contributor's work is not
copyright significant, we don't need an assignment from them. Other
times, life gets in the way and the person never ends up contributing.

In any event, it is usually the maintainer of the project who sends
someone my way looking for an assignment. If you guys haven't already
signed up at https://savannah.gnu.org, then you definitely should. You
should talk to them about your project (I'm sure they'd be interested in
it!) and about your desire to have it included in emacs someday. Even if
the work isn't ready for inclusion yet, they might see it as a promising
possibility. That's really the first step and the best step you can take
in getting your work assigned to the FSF. You'll have to contact them
anyways at some point in the process, so you might as well get it out of
the way. Thanks again for your interest, and good luck with your project.

> [jasonspiro3 at gmail.com - Wed Jan 28 20:18:15 2009]:
> On Mon, Jan 26, 2009 at 2:43 PM, Donald R Robertson III via RT
> <copyright-clerk at fsf.org> wrote:
> ...
> > In any
> > event, even if all the contributors place their work in the public
> > domain, we would still need at least a disclaimer from each of them if
> > the project were to become a part of emacs. So I'm not sure how much
> > time it would actually save to have them do that instead of just
> > assigning their work when the time comes. Thanks again for your
> > interest, and good luck with your project.
> Thanks Mr. Robertson.  But when the time comes:
> 1.  What if I can no longer reach them?
> 2.  What if they then no longer want to bother with copyright assignment?
> I suspect it'd be very hard to then remove their code from Vimpulse.
> Are there any other options?  For example, can you contact all
> contributors and ask them to assign copyright now, even though it's
> not strictly needed yet?  Or can you send me a PDF of the FSF
> copyright assignment contract?  I could then get every contributor to
> sign it and fax it to me when I merge their code.  Then, when the time
> comes, I will fax my pile of contracts to you.
> When you reply to this email, please click the "Reply to All" button
> so that your reply will go to the whole Vimpulse mailing list will get
> your reply.  Otherwise, I plan to forward all your future replies to
> the mailing list manually.  If this is not ok, just let me know.

Donald R. Robertson, III, J.D.
Assignment Administrator
Free Software Foundation
51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor
Boston, MA 02110
Phone +1-617-542-5942
Fax +1-617-542-2652

Jason Spiro: software/web developer, packager, trainer, IT consultant.
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