Uli Fahrenberg uli at math.aau.dk
Mon Oct 25 13:56:24 PDT 2004

Matthew Burgess, Oct 25, 20:31 +0100:

> Uli Fahrenberg wrote:

>> Matthew Burgess, Oct 25, 18:37 +0100:

>>> Our current license/copyright text is at

>>> http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/lfs/view/unstable/prologue/legalnotice.html

>>> Changing this, if it is indeed necessary and desirable, will require 
>>> the consent of all current and previous contributors.

>> Excuse me if I missed some previous discussion on this, but to me it 
>> seems that any change of license conditions only requires the consent 
>> of one person: Gerard. IIUC he's the only copyright holder.
> Well I certainly didn't sign any copyright assignment forms when 
> making contributions to the project, nor do I think other contributors 
> have. Therefore my contributions are copyrighted to me IIUC (IANAL and 
> all that jazz).

I usually stay out of this kind of discussions, because really I don't 
know much about it, but I'd say that Gerard is the only copyright 
holder. The above page says "Copyright Gerard Beekmans," not "Copyright 
Gerard Beekmans and contributors as mentioned in individual files." 
There are no annotations anywhere in The Book to the effect that "This 
piece of text is owned by XXX." I'd say this means that all the friendly 
contributors automatically assign ownership of their contributions to 

WARNING: The above may be, in fact, utterly and completely wrong. If 
that should be the case, I'd appreciate to get hit really hard with a 
bat of some sort, after which I shall immediately retract to my quiet 
corner and resort to some more easy stuff, like algebraic topology for 

[SNIP Matt's excuse for maybe sounding harsh.]

>> Reaching Gerard is sometimes difficult :-), but otherwise changing 
>> the license should be trivial. As James notes, this is completely 
>> opposite to the situation with BLFS.
> Apologies for my ignorance (and note to self - never admit such 
> blatant ignorance in public again!) but I'm not aware of the BLFS 
> situation with regard to this particular issue.  Any pointers to list 
> discussions would be gratefully received.

Can't point to any discussions. But here


it says "Copyright BLFS Development Team," and as the BLFS Development 
Team seems to be a not very well-defined and ever-changing thing, this 
is certainly more ambiguous than "Copyright Gerard Beekmans."

>> Another possibility of course is to have the LFS license OSI 
>> approved. I don't know how easy *that* is though; I remember when the 
>> LaTeX Project wanted the LPPL (LaTeX Project Public License) 
>> approved, boy what a hassle. (And in the end they didn't.)
> I'd much rather the license be changed to something already approved 
> by the OSI - adding yet another license to the mix isn't going to help 
> anyone's comprehension of the situation IMHO.

MHO too.


Uli Fahrenberg -- http://www.math.aau.dk/~uli

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