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From Geir Magnusson Jr <g...@pobox.com>
Subject Re: SableVM? -- ICLA details
Date Thu, 23 Mar 2006 23:08:34 GMT
Sorry about the delay.  Traveling.

Etienne Gagnon wrote:

> I am proposing that we strictly abide by the advertised Apache Harmony
> Contribution Policy at:
>  http://incubator.apache.org/harmony/contribution_policy.html
> but, we add one additional condition that must be met by the ASF, and we
> add an explicit mention of it on signed ICLAs:
> 1- Current and future SableVM contributors sign the ICLA for
>  contributing patches and possibly gaining commit rights.
>  http://www.apache.org/licenses/icla.txt
> 2- Also, contributors must complete the Authorized Contributor
>  Questionnaire and submit to the Harmony PMC.
>  http://incubator.apache.org/harmony/auth_cont_quest.html
> 3- I sign a Software Grant license (with the authorization of the
>  appropriate SableVM authors to do so) for each bulk contribution.
>  http://www.apache.org/licenses/software-grant.txt
> 4- I fill a Bulk Contribution Checklist for each bulk contribution.
>  http://incubator.apache.org/harmony/bulk_contribution_checklist.html
> 5- The ASF provides me with an official, legally binding document,
>  signed by officers that have sufficient rights to do so, stating that
>  it will only sub-license (distribute, etc.) code contributed by SableVM
>  authors (can be identified specifically) and derivatives of this code,
>  under licenses that require explicit acknowledgment of the copyright
>  of these authors and that require redistribution of the related text
>  found in the NOTICE file.  [I have no trouble letting the ASF lawyers
>  come up with some text proposal.  I would highly suggest reusing words
>  off the Apache License 2.0 to do so.  I can even propose some text, if
>  you wish me to do so.]
> 6- Each ICLA and Software Grant has an explicit hand written reference
>  to the ASF document in "5-" beside the signature(s).  A copy of the
>  ASF document in "5-" is added as an appendix to the ICLA/SG in your
>  records and our records.

To be frank, I am not in favor of this 5 and 6.

I wouldn't support giving any subset of our contributors a special 
treatment like this.  How could we say no to any other contributor that 
asked for the same consideration?

> I sincerely think that the above should be acceptable to all parties
> involved.  SableVM authors would end up strictly abiding by the existing
> contribution policy, yet the ASF would be providing us with the security
> we require to acknowledge our contributions.

*We* would have that acknowledgment here at Apache Harmony, but I tend 
to be uninterested in forcing downstream recipients to do things. 
Please don't take this as dismissive of your concerns - I too am proud 
of the work that I do, and like anyone else, don't mind recognition.

> See below for a short comment.
> Leo Simons wrote:
>>> So, for example, the ASF could sublicense
>>> derivatives of our work under any license it wants, without even
>>> acknowledging our contribution in a NOTICE file.
>> "When hell freezes over..."
> As far as I know, the ASF has no power to control US federal and state
> governments.  So, the ASF cannot assure me that US laws will never
> change in the next millennium (you never know how long the US government
> will extend copyright, given Disney's lobbying) as to allow Microsoft or
> any such party to gain control on the ASF, possibly after a bankrupt or
> something similar.  It is very difficult to predict the future of any
> corporation, be it a private, public, profit or non-profit organization.
>  So, I feel very, very uncomfortable to give a blank check to anybody.
> [Of course, the US government can also adopt laws that invalidate
> written contracts...]

So here's my concern.  The ASF as foundation acts in the best interests 
of it's charter, which IMO has implicit considerations for the community 
surrounding our codebases.

I trust the ASF to do the right thing.

Here's a totally hypothetical example - suppose the law changed, either 
explicitly or via caselaw, that put any entity (individuals or company) 
listed in documentation with a software product in some kind  of legal 
risk or jeopardy.  I can just imagine the "Responisiblity in Software 
Act" or some other such foolishness.

The ASF would act, changing policy and license to protect the developers.

A suggestion like yours would tie their hands or seriously complicate it.

I guess I need to re-read through this so I can be sure I understand 
where you are coming from.


> Hoping that my proposal above is acceptable to all.
> Etienne
> PS: It seems we're getting down to the "real" stuff... heh.

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