[SDL] Re: Embedded license? (SDL contributers please read!)

Bob Pendleton bob at pendleton.com
Wed Nov 9 07:45:25 PST 2005


On Tue, 2005-11-01 at 23:02 +0000, Brian Barrett wrote:
> 
> 
> On 11/1/05, Stephane Marchesin <stephane.marchesin at wanadoo.fr> wrote:
>         Elden Armbrust wrote:
>         >
>         > Considering that Sam holds the copyright on SDL (as far as I
>         know)
>         
>         He doesn't have it on every piece of code, which is precisely
>         why he
>         asks contributors for their agreement on this license change. 
>         
>         Stephane
>         
>         
>         
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>         SDL at libsdl.org
>         http://www.libsdl.org/mailman/listinfo/sdl
> 
> isnt he in a legal quagmire unless he can _guarantee_ that everyone
> who contributed agrees? 

I am not a lawyer, so take this with a very large grain of salt. OTOH, I
have been threatened with intellectual property rights law suits pretty
much every other year for the last 10 years. So, I have some experience
with this stuff. (You see there is this woolen goods company that thinks
they own my last name...) So, like I said, take this with a large grain
of salt...

Yes, no, maybe... The potential for a quagmire is there, but only if
someone gets ticked off and sues him. Since there are only a few people
who have contributed more than a patch here and a patch there there are
only a very small number of people who can gain anything by suing.  Not
to mention that there isn't that much money to go after. Unless Sam is
independently wealthy what can you get by suing? You could stop the
distribution of your code... but how long until we rewrite it?

I don't see much problem with what Sam is doing. OTOH, the FSF requires
all contributors to file a written document that assigns the copyright
of your contributions to the FSF just to avoid this kind of problem. Of
course, the assignments can be challenged and may not be legal in all
jurisdictions, so what are you going to do?

What Sam is doing is, IMHO, reasonable.

		Bob Pendleton


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