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copyright assignments gone wild, or why i can not join Canonical's contributor agreement program

Sep 22, 2010, 13:33 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Aaron Seigo)

"When it comes to organizations involved in tending to Free software projects, I personally take a view that is probably deeply colored by my previous life experiences in business. Which is to say, it's probably a bit boring, conservative and balances out my raging enthusiasm for community.

"In my opinion, there is a responsibility for such organizations to identify, define and manage risks related to the responsibility of oversight of what is a very valuable item: the intellectual and creative work embodied in the software products. This is ignored only at great risk to the software, its users and those responsible for the continued development of the software. As a whole, the Free software ecosystem fails more than it succeeds in this, though it is getting better every year.

"As a result, I see on a disturbingly regular basis non-profit foundations causing problems for the projects they were formed to support because such oversight was not well defined or managed. (Personally, I feel that a professionally managed service to create and build in the right oversight tools would be invaluable to the Free software community; too many hackers screw this up badly with significant consequences, which is understandable in the sense that they are hackers not lawyers or business people. Linux Foundation, FSFE: are you listening? :)"

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