At 20:51 +0200 2002/06/30, Frank Mittelbach wrote:

>+ In this license document, the `Current Maintainer' refers to the person or
>+ persons who are allowed to maintain The Program. Initially this is
>+ the Copyright Holder.

Perhaps the last sentence should be formulated:
  If no Current Maintainer maintainer has been explicitly indicated, it refers
  to the Copyright Holder.

As for the other stuff, I think you need to check with a lawyer about what
is really possible (perhaps RMS can help with that):

For example, a legal principle of common law is that (I think) debts cannot
be transferred without consent of one in debt. So it could be that only the
copyright holder has the right to indicate who is maintaining some stuff
(i.e., a maintainer cannot transfer the maintaining to somebody else).

Also, I think that in order for a person to give up their legal rights,
this person would normally have to make an active consent of that. So your
idea that if the maintainer cannot be contacted, somebody else would be
able by that to seize the initiative to become maintainer, may not be legal.

Thus, you may to settle for another legal mechanism: Perhaps a version
should be stamped with the maintainers name, and if there has been no
version in x months, there is no maintainer. Thus, the copyright holder
will have to grant license to the new maintainer.

Of course, the idea that maintainers and copyright holders are different
legal persons probably forces that the maintainer signs a document that the
work in question is transferred to the copyright holder.

  Hans Aberg