On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 7:02 AM, Pamela Chestek <pchestek(a)gmail.com> wrote:
On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 9:39 AM, Theodore Ts'o
> On Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 01:29:59AM -0500, Richard Fontana wrote:
>> > Assuming you set a 30 year term, would it be ok for the
>> > early parts of Linux to enter the public domain in 10 years?
>> I was hoping Ted Ts'o might chime in. :)
> Because of the rapid pace of hardware change, it's highly unlikely
> that Linux from ten years ago would be particularly interesting for
> most people. This might be less true of mature, more slowly moving
> projects, that don't have hardware dependencies, such as GNU Emacs,
> One nice thing about having a sunset clause like this is that it makes
> it easier to relicense code, since you only need to try to
> find/contact developers who have contributed to the project in the
> last ten years.
FWIW (and my opinion is probably the least important), I have been
convinced that it would be worthwhile to have term limit on the
copyleft and have the license reverts to a permissive one after that.
My main concern was with the uncertainty of an effort to commit to the
public domain, but a permissive license instead would solve the
problem. I also wondered whether you would undermine the copyleft goal
but it sounds like not; that after an appropriate period of time it
isn't that likely that the software would be commercially appealing.
In return, there would be some benefit for the legacy users; in
particular you've solved the relicensing problem at the outset (which
it sounds like is a real, not hypothetical, issue) rather than having
to find copyright owners many years later.
The relicensing issue is a bit of a clincher for me; I had not been
strongly leaning one way or the other but it seems like a real,