synaptics driver MIT license approach

Daniel Stone daniel at
Tue May 8 13:43:45 PDT 2007

On Tue, May 08, 2007 at 01:05:57PM -0700, Yan Seiner wrote:
> Daniel Stone wrote:
> >No, because that's absolutely insane.
> >
> >'We tried contacting you to relicense your GPL code to BSD, but
> >couldn't, so we just put it in our proprietary app.  Cheers!'
> >
> >Copyright passes to the estate if someone dies, so you can convince the
> >executioner to do as you like.  But if you simply can't find the person,
> >or they don't want to talk to you -- bad luck.
> >  
> Not really insane; that's how real estate is handled.  If you have a 
> piece of land where ownership cannot be determined, or where the owner 
> has died/disappeared and cannot be located, there is a legal framework 
> in place for clearing title for the land.  Otherwise the landscape would 
> be dotted with parcels you couldn't anything with....

Yes, but real estate is exclusive.  It's not like there's a finite
amount of code in the world that can be written.

> All I'm asking is if there is a similar provision in the GPL and other 
> FOSS licenses, and if not, shouldn't there be?  Otherwise perfectly good 
> code will be thrown out because the owner couldn't be located.

Why would it be thrown out?  It's still available under the original
terms of its licence.

What you're proposing is that, if I disappear for a while (let's say
I get badly injured and spend a year in hospital on life support, but
none of you know this, despite your best efforts to find out), then my
code reverts to public domain, and it's available for anyone to use
under any terms.  No thanks.

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: signature.asc
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: Digital signature
URL: <>

More information about the xorg mailing list