www-legal-discuss mailing list archives

Site index · List index
Message view « Date » · « Thread »
Top « Date » · « Thread »
From Henri Yandell <bay...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Modify CLA for cases where there is no copyright (e.g., U.S. federal government employees)
Date Thu, 21 Aug 2014 04:28:44 GMT
Simpler solution - don't have them sign a CCLA. It's not required.


On Wed, Aug 20, 2014 at 12:40 PM, Wheeler, David A <dwheeler@ida.org> wrote:

> I believe the CCLA needs to be modified so that it can handle the case
> where there is no copyright for the software; here are the details.
>
>
>
> The current Apache Corporate CLA (
> https://www.apache.org/licenses/cla-corporate.txt) assumes that all
> software is under copyright. This assumption is not always true.  Under
> U.S. law (section 105 of the copyright law), a “work of the United States
> government” is "a work prepared by an officer or employee" of the federal
> government "as part of that person's official duties.".  In general, such
> works are not entitled to domestic copyright protection under U.S. law.
> This is a problem; the entire CCLA depends on an agreement with the “you”
> who is the copyright holder; without copyright there is no “you”.
>
>
>
> This problem has already occurred at least once.  When Accumulo was
> contributed to the Apache project, one of the problems was that there was
> no copyright at all in most of the work (see
> https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-100).  The U.S. government
> lawyers in this particular case decided that “because everybody involved
> understands the implications of part of the work being in the public
> domain, NSA can sign the original CCLA” – even though there is was no U.S.
> copyright in a significant part of the work.  However, there is no
> guarantee that other government lawyers would reach the same conclusion,
> and in any case this problem impedes the release of some software developed
> with U.S. government funding.  I’d like to eliminate barriers
> ahead-of-time.  Other organizations, such as the IEEE, have already
> modified their agreements to handle this case; ASF can do the same.
>
>
>
> The CCLA should be modified to handle cases where there is no copyright
> holder, in a way that changes nothing if there **is** a copyright
> holder.  The current text says:
>
> "You" (or "Your") shall mean the copyright owner or legal entity
> authorized by the copyright owner that is making this Agreement with the
> Foundation.”
>
> Perhaps an additional sentence could be added: “If there is no copyright
> owner, ‘you’ (or ‘your’) shall mean the legal entity who can confirm and
> provide credible evidence that there is no copyright.”
>
> I’m sure **real** lawyers can provide much better text than this, since I
> am **not** a lawyer.  I’m just looking for a solution.
>
>
>
> Thank you very much.
>
>
>
> --- David A. Wheeler
>
>
>

Mime
View raw message