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RFC 13 (v1) Creation of Copyright and Licensing Work

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August 2, 2000 21:19
RFC 13 (v1) Creation of Copyright and Licensing Work
Message ID:
=head1 TITLE

Creation of Copyright and Licensing Working Group

=head1 VERSION

  Maintainer: S<Bradley M. Kuhn> E<lt>bkuhn@ebb.orgE<gt>
  Date: 2 Aug 2000
  Version: 1
  Mailing List:
  Number: 13


Copyright and licensing issues are bound to come up in the development of
F<perl6>, both in new code that is created, and in code from other projects
that is to be reused.  The Licensing and Copyright Working Group would deal
with these issues as they come up.


The Copyright and Licensing Working Group is needed to handle the inevitable
copyright and licensing issues that will come up in the development of
F<perl6>.  These copyright and licensing issues will mostly likely take one
of the following two forms:


=item a

Decisions about licensing and copyright of new code developed.

=item b

Decisions and consensus building concerning licensing issues of support
libraries or tools developed by other groups.


=head2 Copyright and Licensing Issues with New Code

One major task of this working group will be consideration of copyright and
licensing decisions of code that is developed by the F<perl6> developers.

First, a copyright holder policy must be developed.  Some projects, such as
Linux, use a system of separate copyright holders for different files,
depending on who edits which file.  Other projects, such as GCC, use
copyright assignments to a single organization.  Still other projects assign
all copyright to a single individual.

All of these systems have their advantages and disadvantages.  This working
group would be charged with the task of building an RFC that proposes a
copyright holder system that works for F<perl6>.

Second, licensing decisions must be made concerning F<perl6>.  It is likely
that a license very close to the F<perl5> license will be used.  However,
Larry Wall is considering changes to the Artistic license that should be
discussed and considered by a working group.  In addition, it is possible
that the Artistic license will be changed to be compatible with the GPL, and
in this case, disjunction with the GPL would become superfluous.  These
issues should be discussed, considered, and developed into RFCs by this
working group, with the assistance of Larry Wall.

=head2 Licensing Issues with Other Code and Tools

In early design discussions, F<perl6> developers have already begun to
propose reusing existing free software to make the job of building F<perl6>
easier.  Such code reuse is a fundamental part of free software development,
but can be complicated by the plethora of different (and possibly
incompatible) licenses used in the community.  

This working group would be charged with the task of sorting out these
issues, so that the other developers can focus on choosing the right
technology.  When reuse of some code or a tool is considered, another
working group can defer licensing concerns to the Copyright and Licensing
Working Group.  This will save valuable time and endless "Will this license
mess us up?" threads.


There are two things that should be done to create this working group:


=item *

A declaration from the Project Manager that creates this working group.

=item *

The creation of a mailing list,, which will be the
top-level mailing list for this working group.

=item *

Appointment of coordinator of the working group.  S<Bradley M. Kuhn>
E<lt>bkuhn@ebb.orgE<gt> has volunteered for this job.



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