On 24 Mar 2017, at 20:03, Quanah Gibson-Mount <qua...@symas.com> wrote:
> --On Friday, March 24, 2017 12:30 PM -0700 James Bottomley 
> <james.bottom...@hansenpartnership.com> wrote:
>>> Probably illegal and definitely immoral, in my opinion. Copyright law
>>> exists to protect authors from these kind of practises.
>> I think you misunderstand the legal situation.  Provided notice is
>> sufficiently widely distributed and a reasonable period is allowed for
>> objections it will become an estoppel issue after the licence is
>> changed, which means anyone trying to object after the fact of the
>> change will have to get a court order based on irreperable harm and
>> show a good faith reason for not being able to object in the time
>> period allowed.  In the US, this sort of notice plus period for
>> objection is standard for quite a few suits and the range of things
>> which qualify as "good faith reason" are correspondingly very limited.
> It's not clear to me that that's correct.  From 
> <http://blogs.fsfe.org/ciaran/?p=58> (See update), it appears you need an 
> explicit 95% permission rate to legally relicense and zero objections.  So 
> far one objection has already surfaced.

I have a hard time imagining there to be any 'legal' basis for those numbers or 
that stark approach; the the US, UK or Europe. Even for well defined processes 
in publishing like for orphaned works.

In the real world these sort of things happen often - and are never quite that 
black and white. 

Open source foundations often have to take certain risks (and document these) 
when accepting contributions. People may have died, businesses may have gone 
under, (ex) spouses or decedents may have rights that are naught impossible to 
reconstruct, contributors may be under court orders or the legally appointed 
owner after a bankruptcy case may have rights, etc, etc.

So in the end it you need to be rational about those things - "veto"s and "not 
legal" are rarely, if ever, applicable. We learned that in the past 30 years. 
And even when things are fairly black and white or ironclad - the result can 
still befuddle us. 

Of particular importance is also *this* case is that the shift is relatively 
modest - from the current license to the ASL. Rather than, say, to the GPL, 
Affero or a midway house like the MPL.  That, continuing honouring past & 
present contributors and the 0 $ fee/license costs,  curtails the irreparable 
harm harm sharply.

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