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The FSF and Project Harmony

by Brett Smith Contributions Published on Sep 29, 2010 04:41 PM
Explaining the FSF's position on Project Harmony

We just published an article about contribution agreements for free software projects from our president Richard Stallman. You should read it if you haven't already, but put briefly, it makes the point that organizations that collect contribution agreements for free software projects should not make that software proprietary, and recommends you ask for specific language in the contributor agreements you sign to ensure that your code is always available as free software.

You may have also heard about Project Harmony, an effort to create a set of different contribution agreements. Several organizations, companies, and individuals are involved. The FSF has attended Project Harmony meetings to follow developments and give advice; we hope that the agreements will support the users' freedom, but we can't be sure they will. In particular, we're concerned that some of the variations might allow the copyright holder to make all the code proprietary in the future.

We will continue to attend Project Harmony meetings and encourage them to do the right thing. Please don't mistake that attendance for an endorsement. Once the process is finished, we'll publish a follow-up post with our opinions about the final output.

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