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User talk:neroden

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Non-interactive Program with Affero clause seems to be more of a comment than a test case. Have you submitted your concerns to the comment system, at least?

((Long ago. Seen no response yet. It is certainly a test case, though, albeit one which the current draft fails.))

Thanks for providing your feedback on this. The issue will be considered by at least one discussion committee, and then handled appropriately when the next draft is written; rationale for the decision will be provided as well. This is explained in the process document.
Given this, can we please consider editing the page to remove some of the commentary? As explained on Main Page, we think the Wiki "should remain purely descriptive; opinions and comments about GPLv3 should go in the comment system." Test Cases explains that it's "a list of possible situations that GPL v3 licensed code might encounter, and how the current license draft handles those situations." Some of the page's content, like "[the clauses] should be rewritten as a requirement applying to a human," are more subjective and not really appropriate here, since they belong in the comment system. --brett 21:01, 5 April 2006 (EDT)

((Please do change it! It can be hard sometimes to separate the test case from the proposed fix. Thank you.))

Yeah, I understand what you mean. I took a shot at this, adding some of my own text to try to explain what I think was the logic behind it. Please take a look at it and see if it still gets across the point you were trying to make, and if not, feel free to edit away.
Given what you've written below, I took out the language about licensing, since it seems like you're okay with the current terms. If I'm mistaken about that, don't hesitate to let me know. --brett 18:32, 29 April 2006 (EDT)

((I'm OK with the licensing terms -- I'm happy to license this text under the GFDL -- but I'm not happy with the purported copyright transfer, which I still believe is invalid.  :-( ))

Also, you wrote:

(Incidentally, I dual-license this text under the GPL (any version), because the current version of the GFDL has serious design flaws. All edits to this page assumed to be licensed similarly.)

The text on the submission page (and in the footer of every page on the Wiki) states:

By contributing to any page on this wiki, you agree to assign copyright for your contribution to the Free Software Foundation. The Free Software Foundation promises to always use either a verbatim copying license or a free documentation license when publishing your contribution.
We grant you back all your rights under copyright, including the rights to copy, modify, and redistribute your contributions.

Can you please clarify your statement? If you'd like, you can say that you're licensing your contributions to the general public under the GNU GPL. However, since your current text talks about "dual-licensing," while you're not being forced to license anything, I'm worried about whether or not you understood the submission terms.

Of course, if you have any questions about them, feel free to contact me at, and I'll be happy to discuss them with you.

Thanks. --brett 08:47, 31 March 2006 (EST)

Now I'm worried about whether or not YOU understand the submission terms you're using. Have you cleared them with the FSF lawyers? Because they are legally suspect, and quite probably unenforcable.

"Please note that all contributions to GPLv3 Wiki are considered to be released under the GNU Free Documentation License 1.2 (see Project:Copyrights for details)." Now this is what I read initially, and this is all right; I assumed that this simply meant that all contributors licensed their contributions as such, which is a legally reasonable thing to do.

Now I've read the so-called "details". The statement "By contributing to any page on this wiki, you agree to assign copyright for your contribution to the Free Software Foundation." is simply incorrect. In the US, I cannot legally assign my copyright without a written, signed copyright assignment. I do not agree to fill out such paperwork, and I strongly suspect that such an implicit "requirement" cannot be made legally binding, as it would defeat the entire purpose of the law specifying that copyright assignments must be carried out in writing. For contributions to FSF software projects, these copyright assignments *are* carried out in writing for exactly this reason.

Please get some legal advice, quickly. I had assumed, mistakenly, that you were doing the sensible thing, rather than doing something legally suspect.

Our lawyers did advise us that this would be sufficient. Thanks for pointing out the different licensing text that was displayed on the edit form. We've clarified it so that it matches the footer. --johns 13:05, 2 April 2006 (EDT)

((OK, thanks. I really would like to see that legal opinion now....))

I'm not sure I know what you mean; there's not really anything to see. Our lawyers simply told us that this text on the Wiki was sufficent for copyright assignment. --brett 18:32, 29 April 2006 (EDT)

Your lawyers appear to be outright wrong, for the US case anyway. Get a better set of lawyers, or a real written legal opinion with citations. : ยง 204. Execution of transfers of copyright ownership

(a) A transfer of copyright ownership, other than by operation of law, is not valid unless an instrument of conveyance, or a note or memorandum of the transfer, is in writing and signed by the owner of the rights conveyed or such owner's duly authorized agent.

The FSF agrees as a matter of policy. Example from "Because the copyright assignment is a legal document, it therefore has to be signed 'conventionally' by both parties to be valid. (This is the position in the United States - where FSF is based). "

You really do not want to mess around with this stuff. If the footer stated that every contributor granted a *non-exclusive license* for their contribution to the FSF, you'd be in fine shape; non-exclusive licenses are not 'copyright assignments' and are not subject to that section of the US code. This is the normal Wiki practice, as Wikipedia uses for instance.

If the footer stated that every contribution was to be considered a work-for-hire prepared for the FSF, and as such the FSF owned copyright from the beginning, you'd likewise be in good shape in the US.

It doesn't state either of those things. Instead, it states the one version which is clearly invalid under US law. All this text I just wrote is copyright me. It's not copyright the FSF. The footer text is inoperative because it doesn't satisfy the requirements of the US Code. This really is an issue, and I'm disturbed that the FSF, which usually gets this sort of stuff right, has clearly gotten it wrong.