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From "William A. Rowe, Jr." <wr...@rowe-clan.net>
Subject Re: Corporate Contributions
Date Fri, 25 Mar 2005 08:25:06 GMT
At 06:54 PM 3/24/2005, Geir Magnusson Jr. wrote:

>First, is the SCO problem - that someone will be able to come and shake them down after
they have made a significant investment of infrastructure and development around the software
we create and distribute.

At which point we rip out all the offending code.  End of discussion
on that point.  There is no means, even via a CCLA, to completely
eliminate that risk.

>Second, I'm worried about how an OSS project could be disrupted or even hijacked - let
some employee commit employer code and/or do work a project in a significant way, and then
after enough of that work becomes core and fundamental to the project, announce it wasn't
permitted by employer and that the ASF must remove said code, which in the absence of some
indication that the employee had the right, we would do.

Yup.

> That would have a significant adverse affect on a community, and could allow in certain
circumstances, that employer to fork the project by licensing the employees work under a license
we can't deal with, and letting the project continue under their control....

That employer could do so in any case.  They retain their own
ownership and copyright even after granting rights to the ASF.

> if the ASF is serious in going down this route then maybe some
>>consideration of the consequences on committers outside the US may be
>>appropriate...
>
>Of course :)  We may not get a perfect solution, but I believe that we can improve on
the situation.

If the ASF takes the onus from the individual committer and puts
it on itself to police potential corporate ownership of every
commit, we are sliding down a very deep time/manpower sinkhole,
and exposing ourselves to more risk.

We must make it easy for folks with employment considerations to
observe if they are subject to employer ownership of their code
(usually right there in the employment contract if one is signed)
and protect themselves.  The onus must remain on them.  The
foundation isn't psychic, and contributors employment status
changes, their participation (as long as they like) in the ASF
is the constant.

Bill



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