Update to GCC copyright assignment policy

Paul Koning paulkoning@comcast.net
Tue Jun 1 15:25:16 GMT 2021

> On Jun 1, 2021, at 11:08 AM, Jason Merrill via Gcc <gcc@gcc.gnu.org> wrote:
> 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.

I don't think that is what the license says.  It says:

GCC is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify
it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
the Free Software Foundation; either version 3, or (at your option)
any later version.

To me that means the recipient of the software can relicense it under a later license.  It doesn't say to me that the original distribution can do so.


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