FSF to begin accepting GPG signed assignments from the U.S.
For our current assignment process, see gnu.org/prep/maintain.html#Legal-Matters.
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 German residents, in addition to U.S. residents.
We are always looking at ways to make things simpler for our contributors, while preserving our ability to represent their interest in keeping their software free as in freedom. As part of that effort we are happy to announce that we have been given the go-ahead from our legal counsel at the Software Freedom Law Center to begin accepting digitally signed copyright assignments from contributors residing in the U.S. As in the situation with scanned assignments, we hope to expand this process to other countries going forward.
We will be using GNU Privacy Guard, a complete and free implementation of PGP. One of its main features is the ability to generate a unique digital signature tied to both a specific individual and a particular document. Many hackers already use GPG to verify and secure code, emails and documents, so it's the most natural tool for us to be using.
The list of countries where we can currently accept GPG-signed documents will be kept as part of the GNU Maintainer's manual.
Wondering why the FSF goes through all this trouble with copyright assignment at all? Prof. Eben Moglen explains why.