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To: gentoo-nfp@g.o
From: Roy Bamford <neddyseagoon@g.o>
Subject: Re: Foundation
Date: Wed, 28 May 2008 20:57:50 +0100
Hash: SHA1

On 2008.05.28 19:48, Colonel Panic wrote:
> Re:
> "In order to sustain the current quality and development swiftness 
> the
> Gentoo project needs a framework for intellectual property protection
> and financial contributions while limiting the contributors' legal
> exposure."
> Such a framework should be an ethical one, in that it should be fair
> and just and not misleading in any way. Ideally reference to the
> misnomer of intellectual property should replaced by recognition of
> the ongoing benefit which arises from constructive input, whether it
> be a bug report or a complete software management system.

Now there is a minefield for the ethics project.
There is no universal standard of ethics. Standards vary from region to 
region and time to time. They are all 'right' of course, in that they 
suit their subscribers.

The Gentoo Foundation has very little intellectual property and its 
growing slowly if at all. Some history is probably in order.
Gentoo under Daniel Robbins was quite different that it is today. 
Developers were asked to sign over copyright in their contributions to 
Gentoo Technologies Inc, which was a company set up by Daniel.
When Daniel left Gentoo and set up the Gentoo Foundation, the 
intellectual property belonging to  Gentoo Technologies Inc was signed 
over to the Foundation. That's a simplification but is a high level 
overview of how we got to where we are today.
Around the same time as Daniel leaving, the copyright assignment 
stopped happening. Perhaps devs who have been around longer than me can 

Reinstating copyright assignment (to the Foundation) has been touched 
on but is very complex as laws relating to copyright vary around the 
world. e.g. In Germany, you cannot assign your copyright to another 
party. In the UK, draconian employment laws mean the copyright in 
anything you do in your own time on your own equipment may belong to
employer, so its not yours to assign in the first place.

Thus the Gentoo Foundation only has what it inherited from Gentoo 
Technologies Inc and any contributions made since by devs that have 
signed over copyright.

The idea of centrally held copyright for open source at least, is that 
it is easier to enforce. When everyone keeps their own copyright, 
enforcement has to be done by all the copyright holders acting 

There is lots there to discuss, so I have snipped the rest for now.

- -- 

Roy Bamford
(NeddySeagoon) a member of
Version: GnuPG v2.0.9 (GNU/Linux)


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Re: Foundation
-- Colonel Panic
Re: Foundation
-- Marius Mauch
-- Colonel Panic
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