Update to GCC copyright assignment policy

Jason Merrill jason@redhat.com
Tue Jun 1 15:08:21 GMT 2021

On Tue, Jun 1, 2021 at 10:52 AM D. Hugh Redelmeier <hugh@mimosa.com> wrote:

> | From: Mark Wielaard <mark@klomp.org>
> | This seems a pretty bad policy to be honest.
> | Why was there no public discussion on this?
> Agreed.  I also agree with the rest of Mark's message.
> (Note: I haven't contributed to GCC but I have contributed to other
> copylefted code bases.)
> It is important that the pool be trustable.  A tall order, but
> solvable, I think.
> Two pools (FSF for old stuff, something else, for new stuff if the
> contributor prefers) should be quite managable.
> This would allow, for example, moving to an updated copyleft if the
> two pools agreed.  It is important that the governance of the pool be
> trustable.
> We've trusted the FSF and now some have qualms.  A second pool would
> be a check on the power of the first pool.
> Individual unassigned copyright pretty much guarantees that the
> copyright terms can never be changed.  I don't think that that is
> optimal.

GCC's license is "GPL version 3 or later", so if there ever needed to be a
GPL v4, we could move to it without needing permission from anyone.

But GPL3 has been a good license for GCC; giving up the theoretical ability
to change the license (other than to a later GPL) does not seem like a
significant loss.


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