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From "Wheeler, David A" <dwhee...@ida.org>
Subject RE: Modify CLA for cases where there is no copyright (e.g., U.S. federal government employees)
Date Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:40:24 GMT
Larry Rosen posted:
> I don't like CLAs at all and would prefer that FOSS organizations replace them with "contributions
accepted under existing FOSS licenses (or the public domain)."

From my point-of-view that’d be even better.  I was just looking for a relatively small
tweak for the specific issue, hoping that it would be easier to do. Given your other comments,
I presume that throwing away CLAs is not likely within at least 5 years, so let’s talk about
perhaps tweaking it instead.


> As for trying to convince people of anything via a mailing list, I agree that is difficult
and not my responsibility. OTOH, I know and respect David Wheeler and am confident that he
and others are conveying this thread back to government attorneys who can think and speak
for themselves on this public list.

Thanks!  I’m confident we can respectfully disagree… but I hope to convince you of my
position ☺.

In any case, it was my understanding that the best place to bring up legal issues relevant
to ASF was this mailing list. So here I am.

Government attorneys can obviously speak for themselves, but they’re busy, and they don’t
normally start examining CLAs until they’re asked to sign one.  I’m trying to get *ahead*
of the curve.  I want to make it easier for them to release open source software developed
using government funds in all cases, including this kind of situation.

--- David A. Wheeler

From: Lawrence Rosen [mailto:lrosen@rosenlaw.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2014 12:27 PM
To: legal-discuss@apache.org
Cc: Lawrence Rosen
Subject: RE: Modify CLA for cases where there is no copyright (e.g., U.S. federal government
employees)

Ted Dunning wrote:
> 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.

I hear no serious suggestion by any ASF Board member to revise any of our CLAs. Should they
choose to do so, of course, I will lend a hand as a volunteer and as an attorney and as an
ASF member and try to make things better. I already have my own long list of things I would
do differently were the CLAs up for serious review. For example, some of you have heard me
say that I don't like CLAs at all and would prefer that FOSS organizations replace them with
"contributions accepted under existing FOSS licenses (or the public domain)." [1]

As for trying to convince people of anything via a mailing list, I agree that is difficult
and not my responsibility. OTOH, I know and respect David Wheeler and am confident that he
and others are conveying this thread back to government attorneys who can think and speak
for themselves on this public list.

/Larry

[1] While this is not directly relevant to Apache, I drafted such a non-CLA Contribution Policy
for OpenMRS. You may want to read it to see how irrelevant CLAs can become (especially for
public domain contributions!). The attached document is licensed under CC-BY. Someday I hope
that Apache will replace all of its CLA and Third Party Licensing stuff with this simple short
policy statement. But first I have a lot of people to convince....


From: Ted Dunning [mailto:ted.dunning@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 11:49 PM
To: legal-discuss@apache.org<mailto:legal-discuss@apache.org>; Lawrence Rosen
Subject: Re: Modify CLA for cases where there is no copyright (e.g., U.S. federal government
employees)
<snip>
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