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2010/11/7 Michael Meeks <>:
Hi Roberto,

Hi Michael,

On Sat, 2010-11-06 at 14:27 +0100, Roberto Resoli wrote:
The crucial point is not JCA/CLA ecc. but what we expect from the Foundation
and what we want the governance of the Foundation should be in the future.

       Well, these are interesting topics of course; but somehow they have
been intertwined in people's minds.

It's not a black box, we can form it in the way we want, but it should have a
motivation for existing,other than being a mere repository of code. I
don't feel the need for a foundation that does nothing really useful.

       I agree having a useful foundation is better than a non-useful one :-)
I'm convinced though that usefulness is an orthogonal problem to the
need (or otherwise) for copyright ownership.

I agree that copyright ownership is not a necessary condition to have
an useful foundation, but in my opinion these are not orthogonal items at all;
the foundation can be much more effective in its action, because
owning copyright
permits much more effective action. For example: if someone steals me the
code I contributed, it would be very difficult to excercise my rights,
particularly if
the stealing subject is a big Company; the situation is even much more
difficult if the
copyright is dispersed. In "why assign" page form fsf[1] I read:

"... And despite the broad right of distribution conveyed by the GPL,
enforcement of copyright is generally not possible for distributors:
only the copyright holder or someone having assignment of the
copyright can enforce the license . If there are multiple authors of a
copyrighted work, successful enforcement depends on having the
cooperation of all authors. "

It's not warm, it's not cosy, but in my opinion could be more useful.
It could represent me in a much more effective way. A legal entity can receive
money, can hire lawyers, can conduct  marketing campaigns, ....

       A foundation that owns no code can represent you, inasmuch as it
commands your trust and loyalty. Similarly there is no need to own
anything in order to receive money, hire lawyers, conduct marketing
campaigns: all of which can be good things of course.

What I said about "being an useful foundation" i referred to the fact
that, after
a month, TDF still doesn't have a legal status, and I don't see any
notice of an action in this
direction (please point me to related information if I'm wrong).
Without a legal status,
i think TDF cannot do almost anything effective, including receiving
donations and
possibly talking to governement entities.

This is also a prerequisite for eventually (even as an option, as
someone is suggesting here)
receive Copyright Assignments.

I think LibO is too important to let things going in a random way.
Random meaning that possibly some big contributors will dominate
the project, being the only having the adequate "contribution power"

       The choice to not aggregate ownership is a deliberate one, and is by no
means a random choice, it follows the most outstandingly successful Free
Software projects of our time.

I understand that this is a deliberate action of course, and please,
don't think
that I want coinvince you or any other that my thoughts about CA are better;
my intention is only to present some aspects that may have been shadowed
by the need to attract contributions.

As I told other times, giving power to FSF or Mozilla instead of let
TDF taking it, is not the best thing to do.

       Nonsense; the 'TDF' still has the power to re-license the code all it
likes - vested in the consent of its members.

Mmm; my worries are very practical; as I said, Mozilla relicencing
took 4 years and a half;
what time would take to relicense about ten times that code?

The fact that we also
trust the FSF and the Mozilla guys to do the right thing in future is
purely an added bonus.

Yes, I meant only that others (i trust them too, but this is not the
point) and not
the foundation we are establishing *now*, will have that power.
It sounds a bit strange to me.

       Of course - that power is vested in the people that really wrote the
code, documentation, translation etc. which is IMHO where it belongs.

The power is there in any case, but dispersed and not enforceable,
without a strong
(copyright owning) Foundation.

My last words about this, I definitely like more coding that talking about that.
Long live to LibO! (under a strong TDF, I hope)





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