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Fwd: A CLA By Any Other Name
FYI. Sorry for cross postings!
A fantastic article about Contributor Agreement approached by different
FOSS projects/entities (FSF, Fedora and Canonical).
Please have a look to see why we should or should NOT contribute to a
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "Rahul Sundaram" <[email protected]>
To: "For discussions about marketing and expanding the Fedora user base" <[email protected]>
Sent: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 2:43:47 AM
Subject: A CLA By Any Other Name
Mark Webbink who was the general counsel of Red Hat and now a board
member of the Software Freedom Law Center and a law professor has taken
over primary responsibilities of Groklaw from Pamela Jones
and has written a article on the subject of copyright license agreements
(CLA). A good article that compares the approach of Canonical, FSF and
Fedora. In short, Fedora is way better :-)
"By contrast, the historical method used in the Fedora Project sponsored
by Red Hat has been to obtain a broad license from the developer but
leave the copyright ownership with the developer. This can be seen in
the now superseded Fedora Project Individual Contributor License
Agreement. In another departure from both the FSF and Canonical
approach, Red Hat obtained an express license in any patents the
contributor held covering the contribution. [snipped]
But one of the things the maintainers of the Fedora Project came to
realize is that Fedora is primarily an aggregator of projects, not an
originator of projects. As an aggregator, Fedora is more interested in
assuring that packages included in the distribution have an acceptable
FOSS license that governs them rather than worrying about an assignment
or broad license apart from that package license.
So Red Hat, having hired much smarter lawyers than the one responsible
for the old CLA (I think his first name was Mark) and listening to the
Fedora developers went back to the drawing board and came up with the
Fedora Project Contributor Agreement or FPCA. The FPCA is a very
different animal. It is not a copyright assignment agreement, and it is
not a broad grant of license in copyright to the code"
"This new Fedora approach would appear to be a vast improvement over any
of the other approaches discussed above"
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