Someone recently pointed me to this thread in a discussion about why the
Debian website still says "Copyright SPI" and is licensed under OPL. I
wanted to chime in to volunteer my help.
Tommi Vainikainen wrote on 2005-10-16:
>>>> Does missing paperwork create a problem?
Francesco Poli wrote on 2005-10-16:
>>> I think it does, unfortunately.
>>> A less difficult solution is ... simply asking for a license
>>> change: each copyright holder should be tracked, contacted and asked
>>> to agree with the relicensing.
Javier Fernández-Sanguino Peña wrote on 2006-04-19:
>> b) old contributors to the web site (i.e. all that have had CVS access to the
>> WWW CVS are for the past 10 years) should be contacted and ask to
>> agree to this license change.
MJ Ray wrote on 2006-04-21:
> I will help with this, if you wish.
I also wanted to volunteer my time to help with this part of the
solution whenever the Debian community is ready to move forward. I have
some experiencing handling mass-relicensing of copyrights when no
copyright assignments are in place. For example, through my work at the
Software Freedom Conservancy, I assisted the Squeak community in
relicensing their software under a Free Software license (previously it
had been under a semi-Free Software, "no commercial only" license).
It's a common misconception that relicensing cannot be done without
copyright assignment and/or by getting explicit, written assent from
each copyright holder. While explicit and written assent from each
copyright holder is the ideal, various public mechanisms and call for
comment periods can be used for those contributors that are difficult to
I don't think there's any need to go into the details about this now; my
point in sending this email is to offer my help as a volunteer when the
Debian community is ready to handle the relicensing from OPL.
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