Update to GCC copyright assignment policy

Mark Wielaard mark@klomp.org
Tue Jun 1 14:28:41 GMT 2021

Hi David,

On Tue, 2021-06-01 at 10:00 -0400, David Edelsohn via Gcc wrote:
> The GCC Steering Committee has decided to relax the requirement to
> assign copyright for all changes to the Free Software Foundation.  GCC
> will continue to be developed, distributed, and licensed under the GNU
> General Public License v3.0. GCC will now accept contributions with or
> without an FSF copyright assignment. This change is consistent with
> the practices of many other major Free Software projects, such as the
> Linux kernel.
> Contributors who have an FSF Copyright Assignment don't need to
> change anything.  Contributors who wish to utilize the Developer Certificate
> of Origin[1] should add a Signed-off-by message to their commit messages.
> Developers with commit access may add their name to the DCO list in the
> MAINTAINERS file to certify the DCO for all future commits in lieu of individual
> Signed-off-by messages for each commit.

This seems a pretty bad policy to be honest.
Why was there no public discussion on this?

I certainly understand not wanting to assign copyright to the FSF
anymore given the recent board decisions. But changing GCC from having
a shared copyright pool to having lots of individual (or company?)
copyright holders seems like a regression for a strong copyleft

With individual copyright holders companies no longer have clear way to
know whether they are in compliance unless they talk to each and every
individual copyright holder (see also the linux kernel, where there are
some individuals who randomly sue companies just to get some money to
drop the lawsuit). And for users it will be harder to get compliant
sources if they can no longer simply ask the shared copyright holder,
but instead will have to get enough individual copyright holders to get
a distributor into compliance.

If we no longer want the FSF to be the legal guardian and copyright
holder for GCC could we please find another legal entity that performs
that role and helps us as a project with copyleft compliance?

I would be happy to setup a shared copyright pool under the Conservancy
Copyleft Compliance project for example:



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