Update to GCC copyright assignment policy

Paul Koning paulkoning@comcast.net
Tue Jun 1 14:40:33 GMT 2021



> On Jun 1, 2021, at 10:31 AM, David Edelsohn via Gcc <gcc@gcc.gnu.org> wrote:
> 
> The copyright author will be listed as "Free Software Foundation,
> Inc." and/or "The GNU Toolchain Authors", as appropriate.

What does that mean?  FSF is a well defined organization.  "The GNU Toolchain Authors" sounds like one, but is it?  Or is it just a label for "the set of contributors who have contributed without assigning to FSF"?  In other words, who is the owner of such a work, the GTA, or the submitter?  I'm guessing the latter.

That seems to create a possible future complication.  Prior to this change, the FSF (as owner of the copyright) could make changes such as replacing the GPL 2 license by GPL 3.  With the policy change, that would no longer be possible, unless you get the approval of all the copyright holders.  This may not be considered a problem, but it does seem like a change.

I looked at gcc.gnu.org to find the updated policy.  I don't think it's there; the "contribute" page wording still feels like the old policy.  Given the change, it would seem rather important to have the implications spelled out in full, and the new rules clearly expressed.

	paul



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