I didn’t really want to write about GCDS, Akademy or GUADEC under the very faux-Spanish title of this blog entry. It’s all about the FLA.
As Aaron already wrote, the board of KDE e.V. signed FLA documents in mid-february. What this means is that the natural persons that make up the current board – Aaron J. Seigo, Sebastian Kügler, Cornelius Schumacher, Klaas Freitag and myself – have identified the organization KDE e.V. as their fiduciary for the copyrights those natural persons hold in the source code of KDE.
What this means in practical terms is that KDE e.V. now holds some of the copyright to the K Desktop Environment source code itself.
This includes parts of the Plasma Desktop, some libraries that comprise the KDE software platform and a variety of applications such as KOrganizer and KPilot. The license of all that stuff doesn’t change – it remains GPLv2 or GPLv3 or LGPLv2 as it is now and KDE e.V. is limited in what kinds of relicensing it can do on the code to which it now holds the copyright – nor does the contribution of the individual authors, nor even what those authors (e.g. me) can do with the code.
Having filled out forms #2-#6 for the board, we realised that there are still some little parts of the FLA that could use some ironing. We’re working on that. One thing is the language used to identify what copyrights are actually being assigned, over which works. We need to find some sentences that identify “the stuff in KDE SVN” in a meaningful way even when KDE doesn’t use SVN anymore. It’s little things like that that will make using the FLA much nicer and easier in the long run – it’s a lot like licensing, after all, where having standard and consistent license texts (e.g. GPLv2) makes things relatively easy to understand even under composition, as opposed to, say, a bevvy of 4-clause old-style BSD licenses plus some beerware.
For people with a specific need to write their own source description (e.g. because they only want to assign rights to part of their contribution) there is a version of the FLA available via the website of KDE e.V. already.