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Re: Why not contribute? (to GCC)


Alfred M. Szmidt writes:
>You are still open to liabilities for your own project, if you
>incorporate code that you do not have copyright over, the original
>copyright holder can still sue you

That's irrlevent.  By signing the FSF's document I'd be doing nothing
to reduce anyone's ability to sue me, I could only be increasing them.
And please don't try to argue that's not true, because I have no reason
to believe you.  Only a lawyer working for myself would be in a position
to convince me otherwise, but if I have to go that far, it's clearly
not worth it.

The debate over legalities has already derailed this thread, so let me
try to put it another way.

Years ago, I was asked to sign one of these documents for some public
domain code I wrote that I never intended to become part of a FSF project.
Someone wanted to turn it a regular GNU project with a GPL license,
configure scripts, a cute acronym and all that stuff.   I said no.
It's public domain, take it or leave it.  Why I should I sign some
legally binding document for some code I had in effect already donated
to the public?  How would you feel if some charity you donated money to
came back with a piece of paper for you to sign?

Submitting a hypothetical patch to GCC isn't much different to me.  For
some people having their code in the GCC distribution is worth something.
For me it's not.  For them it's a fair trade.  For me it's a donation.

>We are all humans, patches fall through the cracks.  Would you like to
>help keeping an eye out for patches that have fallen through?  Would
>anyone else like to do this?

As I said, I was just listing the reasons why I don't contribute.
I'm not arguing that anything should be changed or can be changed.
However, what I do know is that excuses won't make me or anyone else
more likely to contribute to GCC.

>Please refer to GCC as a free software project, it was written by the
>GNU project and the free software community. 

Oh, yah, forgot about that one.  Political stuff like this another reason
not to get involved with GCC. 

					Ross Ridge


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