Posted by: Anonymous Coward
on April 27, 2003 01:03 AM
The FSF does not "own" any software. Nobody "owns" GPL'd software, not even Linus; that's the point of the GPL
I think owning the license to software is the same as owning the software. If you own the license, you could go and change the licensing on future versions of it. This isn't a big problem for GPL'd software, though, because the GPL allows us to just fork an older version.
You can also own the copyright on a name for the software, though. Linus could go try to change the license on Linux, although if his license wasn't compatible with the GPL he'd lose most of his contributions because they're GPL and owned by their authors. However, I think he could enforce his ownership of the Linux name copyright and screw people over if he so desired.