Whilst we've had this discussion about licenses a few times now - and general concensus seems to be that we want to move away from GPL, my understanding is the first step to doing this is that we need to ensure we have permission from previous commiters.

To that end, I'm happy to spend some time to try and contact previous commiters and ensure they would be happy to transfer copyright to us (definition?) and allow us to change license in future.

However, to do this, would need to know what the definition of 'us' is?

When we've discussed changing license before we've concluded that to do it correctly, we'd need to contact all previous developers to get their permission (assuming their code is still in mantisbt) - until that's done we can't change to a different license, so it's kinda pointless to discuss what license we might move to :)

I previously worked out that we could achieve a position where we could change license easily if at a minimum:
a) We either already have, or could make contact with some key prior commiters to mantisbt to attain permission/copyright. (Around 5 people)
b) Current coders are happy to change to a specific new license (around part 5-10 people)

Whilst there are more people that have written code in mantis, where in some cases, whole features have been rewritten over the years, people who have contributed small patches, in many cases that code no longer exists or is likely to be rewritten as we move more towards objects.

One of the biggest areas where we've had external contributions is probably for translations, which  we now build from data from translatewiki.net (which are licensed under CC-BY 3.0)

I don't mind picking this up as a job, if someone can confirm to what identity we'd need to get people to transfer copyright on their code to.


On Fri, Dec 24, 2010 at 8:59 AM, giallu@gmail.com <giallu@gmail.com> wrote:
On Fri, Dec 24, 2010 at 1:38 AM, Damien Regad
<damien.regad@merckserono.net> wrote:
>> Turns out a good candidate could be the ISC license[2], as it is very
>> short, so it does not clutter much the source files header, while
>> conveying the key features of the original BSD.
> I'm not sure if it actually matters to you guys or not, especially as it
> is also the case for the current BSD license, but ISC does not have
> copyleft[1], which means that someone could alter the code and then
> redistribute it under different licensing terms.

IANAL, but as I understand it the ISC (but also the 3 clauses BSD)
does not allow you to change the license as they says you can do
anything you like "provided that the above copyright notice and this
permission notice appear in all copies."

The only one with this property suggested in the fedora-legal thread
has specific language to allow relicensing

> If it does, then maybe GPL is more appropriate (assuming an agreement
> was ever reached by the contributors to the SOAP API back in October
> when this subject was last discussed). Or pick another one from
> http://www.gnu.org/licenses/license-list.html

GPL is what we have today; for a web application like mantis is a bit
ineffective anyway, because anyone could get the code, change it and
run it as a service without giving the changes back. If we want to
force "give back changes" we should probably go AGPL

Gianluca Sforna

http://identi.ca/giallu - http://twitter.com/giallu

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