Community-owned Software

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Today after some months of looking at the ZeroMQ community I announced that we were going to switch to a community-owned model, away from the current model where ZeroMQ is owned by iMatix and we keep the right to relicense that as we want.

The change might seem minor but what it really means is that every contributor has equal rights over their work, as part of the overall body of work. This is about turning ZeroMQ into a commodity now, rather than later. We want to make it commercially and legally trivial for any business using ZeroMQ to contribute, without worrying that they are in fact acting as free labor for iMatix.

The alternative would have been to sign over the copyrights to the FSF or a specially created Foundation but that would still mean every patch and contribution needed to be CLAd or pushed out as MIT/X11 code, both of which are barriers to contributors. If I write an amazing ZeroMQ device, I want the right to publish that under the same LGPL as all other ZeroMQ code. Doesn't require me to be iMatix to do that.

It's appropriate that a distributed decentralized technology with no single point of failure have a distributed, decentralized ownership with no single point of failure.

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