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From Dirk-Willem van Gulik <>
Subject Re: When do we ask people for a CLA?
Date Mon, 01 Aug 2005 10:06:16 GMT

On Mon, 1 Aug 2005, Bertrand Delacretaz wrote:

> Other ASF projects have started to request CLAs [1] much "earlier" when
> people contribute to their projects. The reason, IIUC, is to really
> make sure that contributors understand what they're doing in terms of
> licensing, copyright etc.

And this educational aspect should not be ignored.

> in the past, now the question is, do we want to follow the flow and ask
> for CLAs for all contributions? A rule that seems to emerge (still

Note that version 2 of the license gives us a bit more room than
previously. In particularly it makes very clear that

   5. Submission of Contributions. Unless You explicitly state otherwise,
      any Contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in the Work
      by You to the Licensor shall be under the terms and conditions of
      this License, without any additional terms or conditions.
      Notwithstanding the above, nothing herein shall supersede or modify
      the terms of any separate license agreement you may have executed
      with Licensor regarding such Contributions.

Where a contribution is defined as

      "Contribution" shall mean any work of authorship, including
      the original version of the Work and any modifications or additions
      to that Work or Derivative Works thereof, that is intentionally
      submitted to Licensor for inclusion in the Work by the copyright owner
      or by an individual or Legal Entity authorized to submit on behalf of
      the copyright owner. For the purposes of this definition, "submitted"
      means any form of electronic, verbal, or written communication sent
      to the Licensor or its representatives, including but not limited to
      communication on electronic mailing lists, source code control systems,
      and issue tracking systems that are managed by, or on behalf of, the
      Licensor for the purpose of discussing and improving the Work, but
      excluding communication that is conspicuously marked or otherwise
      designated in writing by the copyright owner as "Not a Contribution."

So someone clearly patching 'into' a piece of code under the 2.0 license
is making a contribiution. The 'into' signalling that the person making
the contribution was fully aware of the 2.0 license and had gotten the
very thing he or she was working on under that agreement

However things are not black and white; when it is the case that:

> unofficial AFAIK) is that as soon as the contribution contains at least
> one entirely new "object" (class, module, block?)

one could argue that there is/was no direct releation to the existing code
and one could argue that the submitter diid not enter in that agreement*.

So then we propably want to agree that a:

>  a CLA is required.

And when in doubt - asking for one never hurts. If you cannot get it - it
is a clear signal to investigate. And/or discuss with your PMC and if
needed the board, what risk you are willing to take when accepting such.


*: 	As the most extreme case; consider a company or a person
	donating some greenfield code which was developed totally
	outside the ASF. And yes - then we'd want the incubator
	process to go through it.

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