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Re: Why not contribute? (to GCC)


> Obviously there is a difference, otherwise FSF wouldn't be requesting 
> copyright assignment. 

I didn't say there's no different AT ALL: of course there is and that's
indeed why the assignment is needed.  What we were talking about is whether
there's a difference in the LIABILITY of a patch author.

> Distributed ownership provides a difficult target and a less likely
> candidate for either a law suit in the first place, or a high $$$
> amount once they figure out that they can only really sue me (and
> not a well funded organization).

I find the above quite confusing since in the liability scenario there's
only ONE "target", not a distributed one.  You are liable if and only if
you contribute code you don't own.  This is true whether there's a
copyright assignment or not.  The true copyright holder of the code you've
contributed, once they find out that their copyright has been violated,
will sue whoever it is that owns that code, which is either you or the
FSF, depending on which project it is.  I don't see what the ownership
status of some unrelated code has to do with this.

> The ultimate in free, for me, is if every single person in the world
> contributed at least one line of code to the project, and retains
> ownership to their piece. Each person is then liable to each other
> person, and a true community owned project exists.

Note that, as you said earlier, liability is, as a practical matter, only
relevant for companies since people don't have enough assets to be
worth suing. 


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