On 8 Mar 2004, Sven Neumann wrote:

> Hi,
> Nathan Carl Summers <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:
> > In my mind one of the major reasons to have a Gimp Foundation is to put
> > all of our IP ducks in a row.  As I've said before I don't think that
> > having contributors sign over copyright to TGF would be the best plan.
> > Instead, I would like to see the ability to give TGF power-of-attorney to
> > sue copyright violators in their behalf.
> Does IP mean what I think it means? Let's hope it doesn't because
> there simply is no such thing as intellectual property. Knowledge must
> not belong to anyone.

I believe that intellectual property is a natural right, but should be
limited in scope for the same kind of reasons that you are not allowed to
invite someone onto your property and then kill them, even though you own
the weapon and the land.  More specifically, I think that the number of
years copyrights last should be counted on one hand, and that if you have
access to software, you should have access to its source.

I could go on with more detail about my views about copyrights and
patents, but that is really offtopic for this list.

I agree with RMS that lumping several somewhat dissimilar aspects of law
together under the same title can lead to confusion, but in this case, it
causes no confusion, since the gimp foundation should indeed hold all gimp
related copyrights, trademarks, and patents.  GIMP can't have trade
secrets, obviously.  And a service mark might be more appropriate than a
trademark; i dunno.  Having a patent or two for protection might be
pragmatic, even though I think that software patents are stupid.

> If sueing copyright violators is the main goal, I'd rather let the
> Free Software Foundation do this job. It is probably in a lot better
> position when it should ever come to a law-suit.

Well, the FSF cannot sue unless it has copyright assignment from us, and I
don't think we can really do a credible job unless it gets assignment at
least from Spencer, Peter, Sven, and Mitch.  (All other substantial
contributors are also listed here, your eyes just skip over them every
time you read the list :)

> Also, so far the FSF has done a great job at funding our developer
> conferences. So we should really have good reasons to form our own
> foundation since I don't expect the FSF to grant any more fundings as
> soon as The GIMP Foundation has been created. This is not a vote against
> the TGF; it's just something to keep in mind...

Perhaps we should bring the FSF into the discussion.  We are, after all,
an official GNU project, even though FSF gives us complete autonomy.


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