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From Sam Ruby <ru...@intertwingly.net>
Subject Re: Is there a legal 'pmc'? ...
Date Tue, 01 Nov 2011 20:18:30 GMT
On Tue, Nov 1, 2011 at 3:44 PM, Benson Margulies <bimargulies@gmail.com> wrote:
> So, a PMC member can send a message to legal-private, can't read the
> ensuing discussion, of course, and has some expectation of a response,
> if only a redirection.
>
> Would 'open a JIRA and then ping private to tell them that it's a
> formal request for assistance from a PMC' be a reasonable paradigm?

Above is an example of a hypothetical question.

An illustrative example as to why we don't answer such.  Subpoena's
are rare enough that we don't have a FAQ entry for how to handle them,
but, no "open a JIRA" is probably not the right way to handle a
subpoena.

The maddening thing about legal questions is that the answer is almost
always "it depends".  I once wrote a rambling essay on that subject:

http://www.apache.org/legal/ramblings.html

In terms of questions, IP clearance questions tend to be referred to
the incubator (even for existing projects as the incubator maintains
the short form), trademark questions tend to be referred to the VP of
Branding.  Disputes on policy may end up being referred to the board.
Whenever possible, we try to push back on PMCs to figure out what they
actually want before investing legal resources in investigating
options that are unlikely to be pursued.

The boundaries between these various areas are fractal, but the people
involved have a good working relationship, so questions tend to be
routed to the right person quickly.

Determining the correct venue is typically not the biggest problem or
even the right first step.  The right first step is to identify the
correct question and determine the implications that the answer might
have.

- Sam Ruby

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