[Mono-list] FW: From the [DotGNU]Ximian shows its stripes atlast

Richard Matthias richard@exaflop.org
Wed, 9 Jan 2002 18:17:56 -0000

> Contributing to Mono is exactly like contributing to Mozilla.  If you
> want your code to make it into the Mozilla code base, you
> have to assign copyright to AOL/Netscape.

This isn't quite true, or at least it doesn't look true and I think perhaps
your terminology is the cause of some aggravation with free-software

Most people would take the term "assign copyright" to mean that they would
have to irrevocably transfer *ownership* of that code to Ximian therefore
forfeiting any further rights to it themselves. I know this is not the case,
but that's what it looks like to a casual observer.

There are two situations with contributions to Mozilla and they differ
depending on whether you make a modification to a file that Netscape wrote
or whether you contribute additional files to the project yourself. Mostly
when people modify existing files its only for small patches which they are
happy to put in the public domain so that the Mozilla project can use them.

When people develop whole new features (an analogous situation with Mono
being where one developer writes whole classes them self) they sit in their
own files, the original author keeps the copyright on that work. The
condition to that work being used in Mozilla is that they must licence it
under a Mozilla Public Licence *compatible* licence. The MPL compatible
licence would allow the Mozilla project and Netscape themselves to use the
code ad-infinitum but it also allows the original author to licence it under
whatever licence they like to others.

If the situation with Mono and Ximian really is the same as it is with
Mozilla it should be made clearer as talk of "assigning copyright" to profit
making companies will only upset people.