Subject: Re: Charging the Charger
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2005 17:02:24 +0900

>>>>> "Joe" == Joe Corneli <> writes:

    Joe> But in the case of PlanetMath (or XEmacs, say), there was no
    Joe> assignment of copyright, and the only person who can charge
    Joe> for a given small chunk of content is the author.  And yet,
    Joe> or could charge for... the
    Joe> collection, because their copyright is in the collection?

I'm not sure what "copyright in a collection" means.  But I disagree
with you that this provision would not be useful for a single
copyright holder.  It still drastically reduces the transactions costs
to potential adopters of getting a useful exemption from the
requirement to release your code.  So for example I could see a
proprietary server, and a "reference implementation" for the client
distributed under such a license.  If you get the balance right, in
theory you should be able to ensure that everybody always has at worst
2 year old client technology, but competition to have the market
leading implementation would ensure efficient implementations.

Note that XEmacs is not a legal person and therefore holds no

By the way, doesn't anybody else find loose talk like

    Olson said[,] "Not only are we changing the rules, we are changing
    them retroactively.

scary?  I assume he's referring to the standard "v2 or later at your
option" clause.  I certainly hope the FSF doesn't do something so
radical that people stop using that clause.

School of Systems and Information Engineering
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