I have made no bones about my opposition to unpaid copyright assignment in any quarter. Least understandable was the old Canonical contributors agreement, Mark wrote another of his personal defences in his blog on Friday; of what I consider to be unreasonable and assumptive. But this isn’t about that blog post.
Only just today I have noticed that the Canonical contributor agreement has changed from a copyright assignment to a broad license. Creators get to keep their copyright and Canonical doesn’t have it’s hands tied by the GPL. I’m not sure how long it’s been this way, but I am happy to see it has changed.
Balancing this difficult policy with the views and feelings of the wider community is an unenvious job, various people in a number of different Free Software communities try their best to get solid legal frameworks in place, while maintaining the rights of contributors with the need to keep things protected in the open.
I’m certainly happier to contribute under the harmony agreement, than I was under the old CA. Even though this does permit Canonical to make proprietary versions of the software. The main factor there being that their reputation would be shredded so quickly as to damage the very fabric of the community endeavour.
What are your thoughts?