Subject: Re: asymmetry?
From: Michael R. Bernstein <webmaven@cox.net>
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 18:11:47 -0400

> From: Brian Behlendorf <brian@collab.net>
> 
> Doesn't the FSF require copyright assignment for contributions to 
> GNU-owned works, giving them the scary possibility of relicensing under 
> other licenses? No one seems to mind that "asymmetry".
> 
> Are we really all out of other windmills to tilt against?

To me, there is a qualitative difference between an Initial Developer (ID) requiring
copyright assignment (for which, if the ID is a business, they might even be willing
to pay for) in order to roll a modification into the main release of a project and a
license that pre-determines that such an assignment to the ID has already been made
if the modification has been distributed.

In the latter case, regardless of how many times a project forks (or how little ongoing
contribution the ID makes), the ID always has a unique privelege regarding relicensing
the codebase, putting them in a permanently advantaged economic position. The right
to fork becomes an empty threat.

Speaking only for myself, this isn't the sort of deal I would find attractive unless
the modifications I intend to make are mostly trivial.

- Michael Bernstein