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From jan i <j...@apache.org>
Subject Re: When is an ICLA needed?
Date Tue, 20 Jan 2015 11:26:39 GMT
On 20 January 2015 at 11:57, Rob Vesse <rvesse@dotnetrdf.org> wrote:

> All
>
> I keep an eye on the Lucene.Net TLP since I use it in some of my other
> projects and after a long hiatus the activity in that community has picked
> up considerably.  However there is one thing that has caught my eye that
> they've been doing recently which I'm not sure is strictly necessary.  I
> noticed that as they've been recruiting new contributors (not committers)
> for their porting efforts they've been asking these contributors to sign
> the ICLA before they will accept a pull request.
>

> My understanding was always that the ICLA is only required if you are a
> committer though may still be desirable for larger contributions, quoting
> from http://www.apache.org/licenses/#clas -
>
> "The ASF desires that all contributors of ideas, code, or documentation to
> the Apache projects complete, sign, and submit (via postal mail, fax or
> email) an Individual Contributor License Agreement
> <http://www.apache.org/licenses/icla.txt> (1) (CLA) [ PDF form
> <http://www.apache.org/licenses/icla.pdf> ]. The purpose of this agreement
> is to clearly define the terms under which intellectual property has been
> contributed to the ASF and thereby allow us to defend the project should
> there be a legal dispute regarding the software at some future time. A
> signed CLA is required to be on file before an individual is given commit
> rights to an ASF project."
>
> Note the use of the word "desires" here, only committers are required to
> have an agreement on file.  Contributors can always make contributions
> without one since the Apache License explicitly has a clause that covers
> this (http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0#contributions).
>
> Actual committers still have to merge and push the pull requests made by
> contributors to the ASF repos so from an ASF perspective the provenance of
> the contributions is OK since we know they were pushed by a committer
> (though obviously committers still need to be reviewing the contributions
> to check for any possible IP violations)
>
> Is my understanding on this right?
>
In my opinion your understanding is correct, an ICLA is only needed to
become committer, but can also be signed before such an invitaion.

I too try to have contributors sign an ICLA if they are active, because
then we have less license problems. When the contributor have not signed an
ICLA the
committer needs to more carefully examine the license state of the code
(e.g. the contributor included the false header info, compared to what the
project uses).

There is also a marketing aspect, having people sign a ICLA is a way to
test their interest before running DISCUSS/VOTE on making them committers.

rgds
jan i

>
> If so I shall be pinging their dev list to remind them of this since IMO
> they are putting a potentially unnecessary hurdle in front of new
> contributors.
>
> Additionally they don't appear to have offered committership/PMC
> membership to any of these new people who have signed ICLAs and whose pull
> requests are getting merged so I will be pinging the list to remind them
> about this regardless.  I've seen that there are several people who've
> made considerable sustained contributions which in any other ASF project
> I've been involved in would have earned them sufficient merit to be
> offered at least committership (if not PMC membership) by now.
>
> Regards,
>
> Rob
>
>
>
>
>
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