Brad Fitzpatrick (bradfitz) wrote in lj_dev,
Brad Fitzpatrick

Six Apart and ownership of code

I know some of you are still apprehensive about the Six Apart acquistion, so I wanted to give you guys some updates.

Six Apart doesn't want to own your code.
They don't even care too much about owning Danga's code. They just want a right to use it, and they want to make sure somebody is able to legally go after any company that tries to violate the GPL'ed code by selling server software based off LiveJournal code without releasing their modifications. (no, this does not mean attacking DeadJournal, because DeadJournal doesn't sell/distribute their changes, and DeadJournal even gives stuff back from time to time....)

We're in talks now with the Free Software Foundation to figure out how to best do this. (well, they sent us some mail offering help and we replied saying that'd rock, but that was just today, so "in talks" might be overstating it... but we're working to start talks)

Under our old pre-SixApart TOS it said something like we own all your contributions. That was just boilerplate stuff that I personally never wanted it in there, but I wasn't good at legal documents, so I left it. When SixApart bought the company they left that in, but their lawyers changed some words a little to make it clearer. So while technically SixApart could arguably own your contributions now (if you agreed to the TOS), they don't want them. We want you guys to own them, as long as we have a license to use them. (under the GPL, Artistic, BSD, whatever....)

I'll give you guys an update when we're further along in these talks. Probably next week ... not this weekend.

Future LiveJournal contributions
People think we're ditching this codebase and moving to TypePad or Movable Type. You know how hard that'd be? Think how many LiveJournal features and formats we'd have to port. We love the LiveJournal code and associated codebases and you're still going to see us hacking on them, adding new stuff, fixing stuff, etc.

To come..
More announcements when we know more. Feel free to flood us with questions and we'll answer. We don't want anybody left in the dark about stuff.

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