FSF to begin accepting scanned assignments from Germany
Last year, the FSF was happy to announce a change to our copyright assignment policy. Based on the advice of our counsel we were able to begin accepting scanned copies of assignments from U.S. residents. We also updated our policy to enable sending digital documents worldwide, but we unfortunately could not begin accepting scanned documents in return from non-U.S. contributors.
We needed to connect with lawyers in other countries who were familiar with local requirements in order to ensure the safety of accepting scanned documents. Our assignment process is integral to our compliance efforts, and so we have a hefty amount of caution when it comes to changing it. With that said, we are pleased to announce that we can begin accepting scanned documents from contributors residing in Germany as well. After the United States, Germany is the country where the most contributions to the GNU Project originate, so this is a big step forward for easing the process of assignment. These contributors will no longer have to mail physical paper across the Atlantic, which means their contributions can be accepted with much less delay.
Going forward, we hope to be able to accept scanned documents from even more countries in the near future. The list of countries where we can currently accept scanned documents is kept as part of the GNU Maintainer's manual at http://www.gnu.org/prep/maintain/maintain.html#Copyright-Papers. Wondering why the FSF goes through all this trouble at all? Prof. Eben Moglen explains why.