synaptics driver MIT license approach

Colin Guthrie gmane at
Tue May 8 15:34:13 PDT 2007

Hal V. Engel wrote:
> Exactly - this can be a real issue for more than just software.  I know about 
> a music book that was widely used in the 1960s and 1970s when the author was 
> actively supporting and selling the book.  He died in the mid 1980s after a 
> protracted illness and the book went out of publication.  The last of the 
> existing stock was sold out in the early 1990s.  Many individuals have 
> contacted the familiy in an attempt to get the book published again and the 
> family is not interested to the point where they will not even respond to 
> those who try to make contact.  This in spite of the fact that many of these 
> individuals are putting a significant amount of money on the table in order 
> to get the book published again.  I beleive that in the US copyrights are 
> good for 75 years.  So it will be the middle of this century before this book 
> can be published again and by then it will likely be so obscure that it will 
> never be published.  In the mean time old copies of the book sell on ebay for 
> more then similar books sell for new because it is so highly regarded.

I wonder if you could write a clause in your will to cover these things.
Perhaps a website that reflects your views on the code you developed and
perhaps passes the copyright and all relicenseing rights to another
coder (i.e. someone you trust to make good judgements - e.g. allowing
GPL to be converted to MIT like in this case).

This could be an open website and could have a notification system that
you mention in your Last Will and Testament such that your executor (or
your executioner if they are paid up member of the executioners guild
:p) could trigger the information release to the relevant people.

I guess in an online world with OpenSource projects etc. you quite often
form "friendships" and development relationships with people you will be
unlikely to every meet. If you just stop mailing one day people may be
concerned. With such a system, emails could be automatically posted to
your mailing lists etc. to inform people too.

I remember a service a while back that purported to offer this kind of
thing but it wasn't really geared towards open source projects and
mailing lists etc..... I had the feeling it was to allow you to mail an
abusive message to your boss etc. :p

I think it was called or something but can't
find it now (good to know if that was the name that my eternal lasting
message has also popped of this mortal coil!!).

Unf. 20 seconds of googling has revealed this unfortunate story:
"E-mail from the grave? Microsoft seeks patent on 'immortal computing'"


Oh I also found this:

It's all rather commercial, do people think it's something we could do
as an open (free) project?


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