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From Issac Goldstand <mar...@beamartyr.net>
Subject Re: Corporate Contributions
Date Fri, 25 Mar 2005 14:28:52 GMT
Though I'm mercifully self-employed and don't have to deal with
corporate overhead, I empathize with Jochen.  Signing things naturally
makes people nervous.  As an individual, I can read through what I'm
being asked to sign, decide for myself if I want to trust the entity
which I'm entering into agreement with, and make a decision backed on
faith in that entity.

For a company, I can see two barriers:
1) They haven't heard of, or don't care about, or otherwise are too
lazy/hardheaded/whatever to read up on the ASF and make such a decision.
2) (Applies only/more for big companies) Even if they know of the ASF,
use the products - heck, the manager in question could even be a
commiter to the ASF himself (either not on work time which would require
a CCLA, or perhaps was a committer before joining the corporation he now
works for) and would gladly sign as an individual; there's still the
fear of the unknown and unexpected whiplash...  Months after code being
submitted, someone in management discovers that some of the code
submitted is "questionably IP" of the company - it doesn't matter if it
is or isn't, nor does the legal status of the code at that point matter.
 Management doesn't know or care.  Management isn't even a techie.
Management is management, though, and heads will roll.  They're may not
even come after the employee who submitted the code.  They're going to
come after the people who signed "that damn piece of paper" (and/or
those outside of Legal who got the person who signed it to do so).  I
know if I was the person asked to get the CCLA signed, I would
definitely think twice.

Just my $0.02


Jochen Wiedmann wrote:
> On Fri, 25 Mar 2005 08:39:00 -0500, Geir Magnusson Jr. <geirm@apache.org> wrote:
>>In your case, what does this mean that you can't get a "formal
>>agreement" from the legal dept?  Is that related to your employment
>>contract / agreement?  Does this mean that there are rights that they
>>hold and don't want to give up?  Or does it mean that our CCLA is too
>>broad/narrow/wrong/whatever?  (I've heard feedback about our CCLA to
>>that end...)
>>Is there some other kind of document we could create to help this?
> It is very simple: My work for the ASF isn't recognized well. My boss
> would definitely prefer me to play soccer or do whatever in my spare
> time, but not write software, which could potentially spread know how
> to the outside world. They accept it, that's all. But *help* me by
> *formally signing* a document, that doesn't pay a single cent to the
> company? Why should they?
> Jochen

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