[TUHS] Happy birthday, Dennis Ritchie!

Chet Ramey chet.ramey at case.edu
Mon Sep 18 05:22:45 AEST 2017

On 9/17/17 2:57 PM, Kurt H Maier wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 17, 2017 at 02:49:16PM -0400, Chet Ramey wrote:
>> I remember multiple FSF efforts to solicit volunteers for named projects.
>> There were lots of people willing to donate their time and effort. And
>> at that time, there were very few non-FSF projects licensed under the GPL,
>> so the issue of "absorbtion" was minor to non-existent.
> But that time changed, and was replaced by a time where the FSF pushed
> hard on copyright assignment to the FSF, and led to a time where we
> wound up with GPL, GPL2, GPL3, AGPL, LGPL, ad infinitum, which landed us
> in the present day, where half the tech organizations on earth are so
> unwilling to step into the morass that BSD/MIT licenses are making a big
> comeback.

This is all true, though I would argue that the "copyright assignment to
the FSF" was there from the beginning, and concealed by the fact that
the early work was directly funded by the FSF before being handed off.
Certainly they asked me for a copyright assignment early on, and this is
almost 30 years ago. There just weren't that many objections.

I would also argue that the different versions of the license were the
result of people asking for exceptions or clarifiations, and the FSF
attempting to accommodate them.

There's no question that the GNU project is at least as much of a social
policy effort as a technology one. You can't leave either one out of any

``The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.'' - Chaucer
		 ``Ars longa, vita brevis'' - Hippocrates
Chet Ramey, UTech, CWRU    chet at case.edu    http://cnswww.cns.cwru.edu/~chet/

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