Subject: RE: Down with the GPL!
From: Laurent GUERBY <laurent@guerby.net>
Date: Fri, 13 May 2005 09:02:43 +0200

On Thu, 2005-05-12 at 19:02 -0400, Chris Maeda wrote:
> These are not junk contracts.  These intellectual property assignments are a
> requirement for software companies in the US.  Without them, the software
> company does not have clear title to its intellectual property so you have
> to sign the contract before you can come to work.

Of course I did sign an IP _assignment_ to my employer: it's by default
in France, every piece of software written during work is by default
owned by the employer (Article L113-9 du Code de la Propriete
Intellectuelle). Everything I produce outside work, if not something
asked by my employer in the course of my work that I do at home, is
mine. And any clause saying the contrary is likely illegal in France
(talk yo a lawyer or union if you have such clause).

But I didn't sign anything that required me to evaluate licensing terms
and be responsible for it, that's a _lawyer_ job, not a programmer job.
You can't do legal advising without a licence in many country,
how could a programmer possibly know that some N pages legal blurb
satisfy or not "by its terms, requires or conditions the use or
distribution of such code on the disclosure, licensing, or distribution
of any source code" and be fired with damage if he gets it wrong?

That's what I called _junk_, if you want to be faithful to the contract
you signed you pretty much have to behave somewhat like I mentionned.

Laurent

PS: "Avoid licence X" is not "junk" because it's usually easy for anyone
to tell if a piece of code is of licence X or not.