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From Greg Stein <gst...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Add 'practice' PMC structure to projects in incubation
Date Wed, 26 Nov 2003 11:20:35 GMT
On Tue, Nov 25, 2003 at 11:43:33PM -0500, Noel J. Bergman wrote:
>...
> When the James project was initially looking at TLP status, Nicola Ken
> forwarded a message from Roy that included a comment to the effect that if
> Committers understood their legal exposure, they would demand TLP status,
> rather than needing to be pushed into it.  At least that is my recollection
> of it.

Correct.

The premise here is that a TLP is "closer" to the code than any kind of
umbrella thing could ever be. Thus, the notion of oversight and,
therefore, protection is much easier to establish.

> I don't believe that I really understood the whole issue until the
> past few days, and I am only assuming that my understanding of it is correct
> now.  But if I am right, the upshot is that in order to be protected, you
> either cannot have a binding vote, or you have to be on the PMC.

Correct.

If you don't have a binding vote, then you are not responsible. The people
*with* the binding votes are. If you make a commit, then they have the
right to change it however they like, or to leave it. But it is at *their*
discretion.

And the theory is: by definition, the only binding votes [regarding a
codebase] come from people on the PMC.

Therefore, if you really want to have a say in the code that you're
working on, then you want to be part of the PMC.

All work is protected, as long as the above rules are followed. Things
break down when non-PMC committers have votes, or the PMC is not
exercising their discretion/oversight. In those cases, the committer is
"acting on their own" and cannot be covered by the ASF.

Note that while the *work* is protected, the ASF is only obligated to
(legally) indemnify Directors, officers, and Members (see section 12.1 of
the Bylaws). While the ASF may choose to defend PMC members, it is not
required to do so. Thus, any committer "should" want to seek out
Membership in the ASF or to become a PMC Chair (Chairs are officers). Also
note that the ASF doesn't have obligations towards non-PMC committers.

Cheers,
-g

-- 
gstein@apache.org ... ASF Chairman ... http://www.apache.org/

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