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From David Jencks <david_jen...@yahoo.com.INVALID>
Subject Re: Modify CLA for cases where there is no copyright (e.g., U.S. federal government employees)
Date Thu, 21 Aug 2014 21:10:57 GMT
I wonder if the whole problem is that we and most lawyers have different interpretations of
english due to our different backgrounds.

Perhaps its like this: the cla's are saying something like "I'm granting some set of rights
related to this set of IP".  Being engineers, we're happy to understand the case where one
or both sets are empty as meaningful and not requiring any special verbiage or explanation,
it just means the grant doesn't actually grant anything.  However I think in common english
usage there's a presupposition that when you mention a set of something it's not empty.  This
seems to me to the be basis of the objections I've seen to the CLA's.  Perhaps it's snide
to say, but if someone went into law instead of engineering, meth, or similar, it might be
partly because they have trouble recognizing the logic errors in this presupposition…..
so it may be a losing battle trying to convince lawyers that our interpretation of the CLAs
is correct.

thanks
david jencks

On Aug 21, 2014, at 12:12 PM, Jim Jagielski <jim@jaguNET.com> wrote:

> 
> On Aug 21, 2014, at 2:49 AM, Ted Dunning <ted.dunning@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>> 
>> But there is a real problem in that not all attorneys in positions to make decisions
that are important to the ASF agree with that.
>> 
>> We could change their opinions by simply putting into the CLA that the individual
contributor either has the currently specified state of knowledge that there is a grant to
the ASF or that the contributor has reason to believe that there are no rights to grant due
to the work being a product of the US government.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> ...
> 
>> The solution is simple and it doesn't consist of you (Larry) trying to convince people
on this mailing list of the correctness of your views.  The simple solution is to add a clause
to the individual CLA.
> 
> 
> The solution is even simpler: there is no problem. The iCLA is fine
> the way it is and there is no need to change it due
> to mistaken interpretations of it.
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