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From Ted Husted <ted.hus...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: The line between full incubation and IP clearance
Date Sun, 01 Jan 2006 13:22:15 GMT
On 12/28/05, Noel J. Bergman <noel@devtech.com> wrote:
> Although that might be technically true, we do things collectively in the
> ASF.  Mind you, we've not had a process for voting on IP Clearance type
> submissions, so that's been a potential loophole.

I'm not sure what a vote would accomplish. Are we saying that we don't
trust PMCs to do due diligence as to the action items on the
checklist? That would be a strange perspective since the key role of
every TLP PMC is to oversee the IP of each and every commit made to
the project's repository.

An attractive aspect of the IP Clearance protocol is that it *closes*
the podling loophole that might bring committers into the Foundation
outside of the meritocratic process. One thing that the votes on the
proposal and podling graduation do is sanction the list of podling
committers, who usually go on to become PMC members. In that case, we
do need the Incubator PMC to vote on the new committers, and since the
podling is an unproven community, we do need someone to decide if the
community meets our standard of meritocracy.

If code is developed outside of an ASF repository and mailing list,
then it is appropriate that we provide a pedigree for the code. It is
also appropriate that we have a central record of all such code that a
PMC is bringing int our repository. It is also appropriate that we
maintain that record at the Incubator, so that all external code
arrives in one place. But, I would suggest that the people best suited
to vote on the code itself are the people who are already making the
technical decisions about such code: The receiving PMC.

In the case of an IP Clearance, there is not a new community to
consider. What is before the Incubator PMC is the issue of whether the
code *can* be licensed to the Foundation. Whether the code *should* be
licensed to the Foundation is a decision best left to the receiving
PMC, who, by direction of the Board, already decide whether such code
should be licensed to the ASF every time there is a commit to that
project.

-Ted.

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