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Re: SourceForge drifting (?)
OK, OK. I didn't mean to start a flamewar here. I just want to see
other people's take on this.
Before I begin, I want to state that I do not have a lot of knowledge of
this subject except what I read in the article (including VA's official
responce.) I am trying to check out if my impression of what it
happening is accurate or not. Please refrain from flaming me and let me
know if I am percieving things correctly, or if I am missing something.
Let's consider the Sourceforge Project. The article implies that the
Sourceforge developers are taking a project that was presumably GPL'd
(does anyone know for sure?) and writing new code for that that they are
using internally but not releasing. They are also talking about
releasing a commercial product containing a mixture of GPL'd code and
proprietary code. What makes me nervous is that they are asking all the
developers of the original GPL'd code to turn over their copywrights to
VA Linux. If VA Linux gets all the developers to turn over all of their
code, then they can then release a proprietary product containing that
code. They can then distribute the entire Sourceforge product without
releasing sourcecode to any of the modifications that they are making.
In fact, they seem to have already made significant modifications for
internal use without releasing the code. I think that this is allowed
by the GPL.
The potential problem with this is that the developers were not informed
that they were turning over their code (without compensation)so that it
could be included in a commercial project for which VA Linux will
profit. They contributed their code with the understanding that it
would remain Free. Their reasoning (presumably) behind turining over
the copywright to their code to the maintainer was so that if someone
tried to violate the GPL, then VA Linux could sue them to ensure that
the code remained Free. Instead, the article implies that VA Linux will
extend thier code and sell it commercially without distributing the
source code of their extensions.
The implication is that if you intend to write code for Free software,
you might wish to refuse to turn copywright over to the maintainer.
Because if the maintainer gets all the copywrights, there is nothing to
stop him/her from selling the whole thing to Microsoft.
I might be totally wrong about this. I am throwing these ideas out
there because I want to make sure I understand what they are doing
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