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From "Andrew C. Oliver" <acoli...@buni.org>
Subject Re: Rejection of any ENCUMBERED Microsoft Donation to POI
Date Thu, 27 Mar 2008 03:59:05 GMT
My position is very simple:

If Microsoft is commissioning your work or contributing then they need 
to sign a CLA-C for the purpose of this work any individual contributors 
must also sign a CLA-I.  All patents and IP that they may have needs to 
be under an unrestricted royalty free license compatible with the open 
source definition (which is covered by the CLA).  I'm very pleased this 
work is going on, we just need to make sure that nothing is under RAND + 
non-commercial or any other encumbering agreement.  This is why 
previously we asked all committers to certify that they had no 
encumbering agreement with Microsoft regarding the file formats.

Bottom line: If MS is going to contribute directly or through third 
parties I welcome them and their move away from binary file formats, but 
POI must stay freely distributable without field of use restrictions.

The relationship should also be more clear in the future rather than "me 
and some colleagues".


Gianugo Rabellino wrote:
> Hi Andy!
> good to hear from you, I hope all is well. First of all, let me express 
> that I'm happy to have you helping out with due diligence and oversight: 
> as we move in potentially dangerous water, it's good to know that you'll 
> be monitoring progress and ensure no mistakes are made. Now, just to 
> clarify where we're at:
> On Mar 27, 2008, at 1:15 AM, Andrew C. Oliver wrote:
>> http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=206905858&subSection=News

>> I vote -1 to any donation from SourceSense or Microsoft which holds 
>> these terms:
>> "
>> For patented protocols, Microsoft said it would offer licenses on 
>> "reasonable and non-discriminatory terms." Open source developers can 
>> access the protocols for free for noncommercial use without fear of 
>> lawsuits, Microsoft said.
>> "
> Point taken and well received, even though from a formal stand point I 
> wouldn't say you have taken any binding stance as I don't think this is 
> actually a real vote, but rather an intention. It would be good if you 
> could formalize that as a formal proposition so that the PMC can voice 
> the community opinion, however this might require a bit more legwork in 
> clarifying the scope of your "blanket rejection".
> Having said that:
> - I'm aware of the potential IP issues surrounding this project
> - Nick had a conversation on legal-discuss, wrt the OOXML schemata, 
> which could be a potential issue. I reckon we had a green light on that, 
> with the proviso of adding appropriate NOTICE/LICENSE files.
> - insofar, there has been no donation to speak of, either from Microsoft 
> or Sourcesense. What we have done has been incremental coding, starting 
> from scratch: most of the work came from POI committers, with 
> substantial help from an external contributor (Paolo Mottadelli, a 
> Sourcesense employee), who recently earned commit privs. So, no dumps of 
> "questionable" code that wasn't properly scrutinized: all the work from 
> Sourcesense has been done in isolation, that is there is not even the 
> most remote possibility of tainting so far. SVN history is our best 
> friend here.
> - I don't see any substantial donation coming from Microsoft as in "here 
> is a bucket of code": Microsoft devs most likely will join this list, 
> provide feedback and contribute, but I would expect this will happen 
> within the usual ASF rules.
> I hope this helps clarifying a bit. If it doesn't, please, please, 
> please be extremely vocal: we need as many eyeballs as we can possibly 
> have to ensure that the resulting code is completely unencumbered.
> Ciao,
> --Gianugo Rabellino
> Sourcesense - making sense of Open Source: http://www.sourcesense.com
> Blogging at http://boldlyopen.com/
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