how much right do I have on my project, if there are patches by others?

Rick Moen rick at
Sat Jul 7 03:54:34 UTC 2007

Quoting Matthew Flaschen (matthew.flaschen at

> It's far from certain that they are correct about this.  Others, such as
> the Apache project, would seem to disagree.

There was a time, and it probably was for around 3 seconds some decades
ago, when I was actually impressed, when informed in this headline-style
fashion that someone had disagreed.  (Then I discovered Usenet.)

> They have clearly defined coauthors, but still require broad and
> explicit contributor licenses
> ( and take the view that only
> the foundation (not the coauthors) can relicense.

Your assumption that the terms of someone's contract somehow indicates
the shape of copyright law is hereby noted with wry amusement.

> >   To solve this problem, we need to go beyond recognizing that project
> >   leads have the legal authority to set licensing terms, and cede them
> >   the ethical authority to do it as well.
> Why?

As the level of quotation _should_ have made clear, you are asking the
wrong person -- and I'm unclear on why I should be teaching you how to
look up other people's e-mail addresses.  

I _might_ be glad to explain Catherine and Eric's point to you anyway --
did you read the essay, by the way? -- if I weren't a bit mystified as
to why the utility of that understanding towards any large open source
project's long-term management weren't, on the whole, rather obvious.

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