Protecting KDE from bad things is one of the primary purposes of the KDE e.V.. As a member of the KDE e.V.’s Board of Directors I got the special honour today to put one more piece of the protecting freedom puzzle into place by signing people’s Fiduciary License Agreements (or in short, FLA). The FLA is a means for the KDE e.V. and the wider Free Software community to be able to relicense code that has been contributed to KDE by people who are, one way or the other, not able to “fix the license” anymore. When relicensing code of someone else, we’re bound to pretty strict rules, all has to happen within the principles of Free Software. I’m not really firm on legal grounds, so I’ll invoke my fellow board member, Nijmegenaar and the new coordinator of the FSFE’s Freedom Task Force (congrats!) to explain those details. Go-go-gadgeto-Ade!
Carlo Piana summarises the purpose of the FLA in the following words:
Essentially, any developer holds the copyright of the software he/she authors, which means that for complex projects, any developer would have a say in any major decision regarding the software, with frequent problems in terms of flexibility and management (including litigation). The fiduciary licence aims at simplifying this process, by assigning the copyright to an entity as KDE e.V. which is not “scalable” and therefore provides sufficient safeguards as to the possible hijacking of the project for nefarious reasons.
I’ve signed about 10 FLA’s on behalf of KDE e.V. already, with more to come. If you’ve contributed code to KDE (even if it’s just a little), please drop by the KDE booth at Linuxtag and sign your copy of the FLA. I, or our friends from the FSFE (or Ade :-)) can explain to you in more detail what it means, and why it’s important to sign it if you’re still unsure. We’ll also be bringing a stack of FLA forms to the Gran Canaria Desktop summit in a bit more than a week’s time, so grab your chance, and protect your and our Freedom!
Update: Meanwhile, I had the honour to have Matthias Ettrich and Martin Konold (the two founders of KDE) sign the FLA.