[SciPy-dev] Re: [SciPy-user] plotting enhancements and copyright

A.J. Rossini rossini at blindglobe.net
Thu Nov 1 10:20:28 CST 2001


>>>>> "Jochen" == Jochen Küpper <jochen at unc.edu> writes:

    Jochen> I just looked at the XEmacs cvsweb.  From the first 5
    Jochen> src-files I picked three had multiple copyrights, 2 were
    Jochen> only copyrighted by FSF.  And wxWindows, which is
    Jochen> obviously also closely related to wxplt, has a 1whole
    Jochen> bunch of files with multiple copyrights in there. I am not
    Jochen> sure what the individual contributions to these files are,
    Jochen> though.

Actually, what you are referring to was for many years (and still is)
the primary difference between Emacs and XEmacs.  Not fair, though it
is relevant.  

Submission of GPL'd code for inclusion to Emacs (I'm lead
coordinator/developer for ESS, an IDE-like environment using (x)emacs
for statistical data analysis), requires signing over all copyright to
the FSF.  It makes it easier to fight for in that context.  I can't
submit ESS for inclusion with Emacs without tracing down _ALL_ of the
authors, and getting clearance from them.   This, I don't have time to
do.

Now, to avoid any GPL wars, let me point out that the issue is "what
would need to happen to modify the license in the future".  The need
to go back to copyright holders, or at least verify what they mean,
intend, or will allow, is annoying.  

With a BSD license, I think there is less of an issue.  However, it is
still cleaner to have a single license and copyright holder, than to
force people to make sure that each module is properly usable.  The
Omegahat project (http://www.omegahat.org/), had to handle that as
well (its goal is to work on the next generation of statistical
computing frameworks), and chose to enforce the single license/single
copyright holder.

Of course, this is counter-balanced by the need to recognize
contributors in such a way that they feel it is worthwhile.

    eric> We'll work on a formal policy for contributions as soon as
    eric> possible.

    Jochen> Don't make it too formal, or more people won't like it.

Actually, it should be "formal", in the sense that it lays out the
ground work (yet another problem...).  It should not necessarily be
technical, though.

Anyway, this should be hashed out soon.  Not that I'm involved in
anyway, just a bystander at this point.

best,
-tony

-- 
A.J. Rossini				Rsrch. Asst. Prof. of Biostatistics
U. of Washington Biostatistics		rossini at u.washington.edu	
FHCRC/SCHARP/HIV Vaccine Trials Net	rossini at scharp.org
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