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FSF Copyright Assignment and GCC, GCC 9.4 Released

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GNU
  • GCC drops its copyright-assignment requirement

    The GCC compiler, like other GNU projects, has long required contributors to complete paperwork assigning the copyrights on their work to the Free Software Foundation. That requirement has just been dropped, and contributors can now attach a Signed-off-by tag indicating use of the Developers Certificate of Origin instead. "This change is consistent with the practices of many other major Free Software projects, such as the Linux kernel." Initial discussion suggests that some developers were surprised by this change and are yet to be convinced that it is a good idea.

  • Update to GCC copyright assignment policy
    GCC was created as part of the GNU Project but has grown to operate as
    an autonomous project.
    
    The GCC Steering Committee has decided to relax the requirement to
    assign copyright for all changes to the Free Software Foundation.  GCC
    will continue to be developed, distributed, and licensed under the GNU
    General Public License v3.0. GCC will now accept contributions with or
    without an FSF copyright assignment. This change is consistent with
    the practices of many other major Free Software projects, such as the
    Linux kernel.
    
    Contributors who have an FSF Copyright Assignment don't need to
    change anything.  Contributors who wish to utilize the Developer Certificate
    of Origin[1] should add a Signed-off-by message to their commit messages.
    Developers with commit access may add their name to the DCO list in the
    MAINTAINERS file to certify the DCO for all future commits in lieu of individual
    Signed-off-by messages for each commit.
    
    The GCC Steering Committee continues to affirm the principles of Free
    Software, and that will never change.
    
    - The GCC Steering Committee
    
    [1] https://developercertificate.org/
    
  • GCC 9.4 Released
    The GNU Compiler Collection version 9.4 has been released.
    
    GCC 9.4 is a bug-fix release from the GCC 9 branch containing important 
    fixes for regressions and serious bugs in GCC 9.3 with more than 190 bugs 
    fixed since the previous release.
    
  • GCC 9.4 Compiler Released With 190+ Bug Fixes - Phoronix

    While GCC 11 is the latest stable compiler series for the GNU Compiler Collection, for those still making use of GCC 9 that initially debuted in 2019 there is a new point release this week.

    GCC 9.4 is the latest point release for this series, coming just a few weeks after GCC 8.5 that ended out the GCC 8 series. Since the release of GCC 9.3 back in March 2020 there have been more than 190 bug fixes to accumulate for this compiler series.

The anti-FSF coup continues

  • Update to GCC copyright assignment policy

    The GCC Steering Committee has decided to relax the requirement to assign copyright to the Free Software Foundation. "Contributors who have an FSF Copyright Assignment don't need to change anything. Contributors who wish to utilize the Developer Certificate of Origin should add a Signed-off-by message to their commit messages. Developers with commit access may add their name to the DCO list in the MAINTAINERS file to certify the DCO for all future commits in lieu of individual Signed-off-by messages for each commit."

  • GCC To No Longer Require Copyright Assignment To The Free Software Foundation

    In addition to the GCC 9.4 release today, the GCC Steering Committee announced today that they are dropping their long-running policy of requiring copyright assignment to the Free Software Foundation for all code contributions.

    GCC has long required copyright assignment to the FSF for any patches and that's bee an issue for some. Especially these days with the FSF coming under fire and even some talking of possible forks to the GNU Compiler Collection or being able to move this open-source compiler further away from the FSF, the steering committee decided to no longer require the controversial copyright assignment.

FSF Drops Assignment Requirement for GCC

  • FSF Drops Assignment Requirement for GCC

    The Free Software Foundation announced on June 1, 2021 that it would no longer require and assignment of rights from contributors to GCC (GNU C Compiler) project. Instead, it will require a DCO (Developer Certificate of Origin), following the practice lead by the Linux Foundation for the kernel.

    This move brings the GCC project into line with community practice, and it’s a welcome development. Over the years, various contributors had refused to agree to the FSF’s contribution assignment agreement, a document that is unusual in both substance and form. As to substance, while assignments for contributions were more common a couple of decades ago, today they are quite rare; most open source projects today either use license in=out (with or without a DCO), or a CLA with a non-exclusive license grant. As to form, the FSF’s assignment contains some truly unique language about patents* that patent licensing lawyers find perplexing, causing companies to balk at making contributions to FSF projects simply because they can’t parse the terms.

    Given the widespread rejection by open source communities of CLAs, the FSF’s outlier stance on its contribution terms over the years has been surprising. Its premise that “Our ability to enforce the license on packages like GCC or GNU Emacs begins with a copyright assignment” was never exactly correct. It’s the kind of statement that looks good on paper, but doesn’t make so much sense in practice. It is true that only a copyright owner or exclusive licensee can enforce a copyright. See HyperQuest, Inc. v. N’Site Sols., Inc., 632 F.3d 377, 382 (7th Cir. 2011). But that’s because a court does not want to be asked by a plaintiff to enforce a copyright, when other parties, who are not before the court, have the right to grant licenses to the defendant and inoculate the defendant from the claim.

Eben Moglen clarifies and SJVN Attacks Stallman again (ZDNet)

  • GCC Drops Requirement of Copyright Assignment to FSF

    I am not, and SFLC is not, counsel to FSF, the GNU Project, or the GCC Steering Committee. We do not speak for any of them. I have read the GCC Steering Committee statement on copyright assignment, and on that basis I can give an independent legal opinion.

    [...]

    The GCC Steering Committee has decided, on the “inbound” side of its projects, not to require copyright assignment to FSF for contributions. Copyright assignment to FSF was traditionally required for “core” GNU Project components. Instead, the Steering Committee has decided to allow contributors to keep their own copyrights, if they wish. Such contributors can submit a Developer Certificate of Origin, stating that the contribution is their own work, or the work of others who have given them authority to certify origin, and that they have the necessary rights to make the contribution. This is the mechanism by which the Linux kernel project, among other non-FSF managers of GPL’d code, accept contributions to their works.

  • The GCC Steering Committee takes a step away from the Free Software Foundation

    When the Free Software Foundation (FSF) recently returned its disgraced founder Richard M. Stallman (RMS) to its board, the FSF board hadn't reckoned with how others would see his return. Even the GCC Steering Committee, which oversaw the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) free software's primary collection of programming language tools, removed Stallman, the original GCC creator, from its membership. Now, the GCC Steering Committee has relaxed its decades-old requirement that new and modified GCC code should have its copyright assigned to the FSF.

Update to GCC copyright assignment policy

  • Update to GCC copyright assignment policy

    The GCC Steering Committee has decided to relax the requirement to assign copyright for all changes to the Free Software Foundation. GCC will continue to be developed, distributed, and licensed under the GNU General Public License v3.0. GCC will now accept contributions with or without an FSF copyright assignment. This change is consistent with the practices of many other major Free Software projects, such as the Linux kernel.

Code contributions to GCC no longer have to be assigned to FSF

  • Code contributions to GCC no longer have to be assigned to FSF, says compiler body

    GCC is widely used, not least as the primary compiler toolchain for Linux. Although contributing code under the GPL 3.0 license is sufficient for it to be open source, assigning copyright gives more flexibility to the owners for such things as publishing the code under a different license – anything that would otherwise require asking the original contributors (who may no longer be available for any number of reasons) for further permission.

    The reason for the change is not stated, but there was a long thread in April on the matter of GCC's association with the FSF.

    The FSF has been entangled in controversy since restoring its founder Richard Stallman to the board.

    Red Hat pulled funding for the FSF; the Debian community is divided on the subject.

Megaphone for ZDNet at LPI

  • GCC Steering Committee Relaxes Copyright Requirement

    Since Richard M. Stallman's return to the Free Software Foundation (FSF) board, the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) Steering Committee has taken steps to distance itself from the FSF, reports Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols.

The emancipation of GCC? Compiler collection now accepts contrib

  • The emancipation of GCC? Compiler collection now accepts contributions without FSF copyright assignment

    Developers who want to contribute to the GNU Compiler Collection but don’t feel like signing over copyright to the Free Software Foundation can get busy committing now. GCC Steering Committee member David Edelsohn informed contributors via the mailing list that the committee “decided to relax the requirement to assign copyright for all changes” to the FSF.

    Speaking for the committee, he wrote that the GCC project “will now accept contributions with or without an FSF copyright assignment”, a practice thought of as consistent with that “of many other major Free Software projects, such as the Linux kernel”.

GCC updates its copyright assignment policy

A possible copyright-policy change for glibc

  • A possible copyright-policy change for glibc

    The GNU C Library developers are asking for comments on a proposal to stop requiring developers to assign their copyrights to the Free Software Foundation. This mirrors the recent change by GCC, except that the community is being consulted first. "The changes to accept patches with or without FSF copyright assignment would be effective on August 2nd, and would apply to all open branches. The glibc stewards, like the GCC SC, continue to affirm the principles of Free Software, and that will never change."

  • Seeking input from developers: glibc copyright assignment policy.
    Community,
    
    glibc was created as part of the GNU Project but has grown to operate as
    an autonomous project. As part of the GNU Toolchain the glibc stewards
    support the gcc project policy changes presented here:
    https://gcc.gnu.org/pipermail/gcc/2021-June/236182.html
    
    The glibc stewards are seeking input from developers to decide if the project
    should relax the requirement to assign copyright for all changes to the
    Free Software Foundation as follows:
    
    Contributors who have an FSF Copyright Assignment wouldn't need to
    change anything.  Contributors who wish to utilize the Developer Certificate
    of Origin[1] would add a Signed-off-by message to their commit messages.
    
    The changes to accept patches with or without FSF copyright assignment
    would be effective on August 2nd, and would apply to all open branches.
    
    The glibc stewards, like the GCC SC, continue to affirm the principles of
    Free Software, and that will never change.
    
    glibc will continue to be developed, distributed, and licensed under the
    GNU Lesser General Public License v2.1 or any later version as
    published by the Free Software Foundation.
    
    Input on this issue is accepted until July 1st 2021.
    

GNU C Library Looking To Drop FSF Copyright Assignment Policy

  • GNU C Library Looking To Drop FSF Copyright Assignment Policy

    At the start of June, the GNU Compiler Collection decided to abandon the FSF copyright assignment requirement while now Glibc is looking to make a similar move that would go into effect at the start of August. The Glibc stewards are still seeking feedback on the matter but so far it seems the developers are overwhelmingly in favor of dropping this requirement especially as more developers try to distance themselves from the Free Software Foundation.

Open-source projects glibc and gnulib look to sever copyright...

  • Open-source projects glibc and gnulib look to sever copyright ties with Free Software Foundation

    The GNU C Library (glibc) and GNU Portability Library (gnulib) are laying the groundwork to divorce themselves from the troubled Free Software Foundation by removing the requirement for copyright assignment.

    This move follows in the footsteps of the same shift by the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) on 2 June.

    Like many projects under the GNU umbrella, glibc and gnulib – the GNU Project's C standard library and a collection of subroutines designed to ease cross-platform porting respectively – allow anyone to contribute code. Those doing so are asked to assign copyright to the Free Software Foundation – for now, at least.

Article translation (automated)

Now the same with GNU C Library

  • The GNU C Library copyright-assignment policy changes
  • Update to glibc copyright assignment policy
    glibc was created as part of the GNU Project but has grown to operate
    as an autonomous project.
    
    The glibc stewards have decided to relax the requirement to assign
    copyright for all changes to the Free Software Foundation. glibc will
    continue to be developed, distributed, and licensed under the GNU
    Lesser General Public License v2.1 or any later version as published
    by the Free Software Foundation.  This change is consistent with the
    practices of many other major Free Software projects, such as the
    Linux kernel, and GCC [1].
    
    Contributors who have an FSF Copyright Assignment don't need to change
    anything.  Contributors who wish to utilize the Developer Certificate
    of Origin[2] should add a Signed-off-by message to their commit
    messages.
    
    The changes to accept patches with or without FSF copyright assignment
    will be effective after August 2nd, and will apply to all open
    branches. Code shared with other GNU packages via Gnulib will continue
    to require assignment to the FSF.
    
    The glibc stewards continue to affirm the principles of Free Software,
    and that will never change.
    
    Signed,
    Ryan Arnold
    Paul Eggert
    Jakub Jelinek
    Maxim Kuvyrkov
    Joseph Myers
    Carlos O'Donell
    
    [1] https://gcc.gnu.org/pipermail/gcc/2021-June/236182.html
    [2] https://developercertificate.org/
    

Coup against FSF

  • GNU C Library changes copyright policy for glibc contributors

    The steering committee of the GNU C Library (glibc) has decided that contributors no longer have to automatically transfer their copyrights to the Free Software Foundation (FSF). The changes for glibc will take effect on August 2, 2021 and will be effective for all ongoing development branches of the Library project. From this point onwards, everyone who contributes code to the glibc project is free to decide whether they want to apply their patches with or without transferring rights to the FSF.

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