[gst-devel] Re: Helix Player virtual team meeting

Rob Lanphier robla at real.com
Wed Dec 10 17:22:01 CET 2003

Hi David,

Comments inline...

On Wed, 2003-12-10 at 13:48, David Schleef wrote:
> There appears to be a bit of confusion about what is being discussed.
> There are two licenses, the RPSL[1] and RCSL[2], and also the "Terms
> of Use"[3] (which I assume is also similar to the membership agreement,
> which I apparently am not allowed to see without giving out a valid
> email address).

> [1] https://www.helixcommunity.org/content/rpsl
> [2] https://www.helixcommunity.org/content/rcsl
> [3] https://www.helixcommunity.org/nonav/docs/TermsOfUse.html

You've cited the correct URLs to all three, which everyone has access to
anonymously.  What are you referring to when you refer to the
"membership agreement"?

> The RPSL, which covers much of the non-codec parts of Helix, does not
> contain anything about copyright assignment, and is very likely to be
> an open source license.
> Note that the OSI has incorrectly accepted a few licenses in the past,
> so merely being accepted by OSI is not an indication that it's an
> acceptable license.  It does, however, significantly raise the bar for
> which people whose comments you bother listening to.  There aren't very
> many people who can credibly argue why a copyright assignment
> requirement in a license is unacceptable (it's not _specifically_
> forbidden by the OSD), whereas a policy of copyright assignment for
> a project is OK.  The GNU project has a long-standing tradition of
> requiring copyright assignment for contributions to GNU code, but
> obviously does not require it as part of the license.
> Copyright assignment has been primarily rejected ouside of GNU itself,
> as can be seen by the many sucessful projects that don't do it, and
> also the conversion of the Mozilla project away from it.  I imagine
> that this is because only the FSF has built up enough trust that
> people believe it will not attempt to "steal" the code and take it
> proprietary.

Are you sure that Mozilla is converting away from it:

The URL above indicates that they continue to require this.

> I strongly encourage Helix to reconsider it's copyright assignment
> policy.  It may be useful in the case of relicensing difficulties,
> but what does it matter if you can't build a community around it
> because nobody will contribute?

Actually, we do have a community around our current license.  We've
created a situation where companies who might otherwise take more
liberally-licensed open source software and incorporate it into their
proprietary products are instead working with us in the community.  Take
a look at the many announcements we've had in the past year:

We're trying to build a bigger community.  However, we can't assume that
being more liberal naturally will lead to a bigger community.

> By the way, copyright assignment is one of the reasons I don't
> contribute to GNU projects.

I can see why you wouldn't want to give up your own right/title/etc. 
But are you saying that you wouldn't do a joint contributor agreement,
like this?


Rob Lanphier, Helix Community Coordinator - RealNetworks
http://helixcommunity.org http://rtsp.org http://realnetworks.com

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