while browsing through the CPAN, i was wondering what would happen if the copyright holder of some really important module would get hit by the metaphorical bus or something like that, and the copyright he holds on his modules gets passed on to somebody else who doesn't agree with the common open-source principles (IANAL, but AFAIK copyright gets passed on to heirs just like anything else).
When that weird story about some company trying to 'buy' a copy of the linux kernel came up a while ago, the consensus seemed to be that it's almost impossible to achieve this since you'd have to get every contributor to relicense his contibutions to the kernel, which is a bit hard with the number of contributors being way over 400. Yet, some of the most basic modules seem to be 'owned' by at least one person, so what would happen if the copyright owner of such an important module would decide to revoke or change the license of the module? would that just result in a fork, or is it possible that this would prohibit us from (re)using the module in the way we do nowadays?
My legalese is extremely sub-par, and i guess i'm just being paranoid, but it still made me wonder.
Could anyone with more insight into the standard licenses and copyright law clarify this?