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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject RE: Impasses and decision-making
Date Sun, 07 Jun 2015 19:53:07 GMT
Colleagues and friends,

After receiving two on-list responses from ASF board members (Rich Bowen, Greg Stein) and
one from our president (Ross Gardler), I feel obliged to differ. All three said "we are a
do-ocracy" and they told me to do what I want by myself and to stop bothering them with proposed
policy changes. This is ludicrous.

Actually we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation governed by our own Bylaws and by the laws
of Delaware and the United States. We should groan loudly when officers of ASF declare we
are not a democracy. Someone besides me should object when a board member says to take my
issues to a private Apache list where I am temporarily banned by the board from even posting
and where the few board participants there already disagree with me. I've been trying that
for several years now and it has accomplished nothing but my being banned under the so-called
CoC because the Peter Pan crew here wants to have fun.

I've been an open source lawyer since before ASF was even incorporated. It saddens me to see
this important institution refuse to consider changing itself to conform to the laws and FOSS
licenses of today. Fortunately, ASF is a democracy and it elects its board and officers every
year. There is hope.

There is also great FOSS software here. Please stay with us while we try to evolve!


-----Original Message-----
From: Rich Bowen [mailto:rbowen@rcbowen.com] 
Sent: Saturday, June 6, 2015 6:14 PM
To: legal-discuss@apache.org
Subject: Re: Impasses and decision-making

On 06/06/2015 08:31 PM, Lawrence Rosen wrote:
> Rich Bowen wrote:
>>Ah. Then clearly we are at an impasse. "I think someone should" is 
> simply not how things happen here. If you feel that this is crazier 
> than normal, perhaps you've missed something. That is the definition 
> of normal. We are, as I said, a do-ocracy.
> Perhaps we are at an impasse. Seems much like that to me too some days.
> I vaguely remember that you **require** each Apache project to submit 
> a quarterly report that almost nobody reads and that usually says the 
> same thing each report. Would you like me to write those also?

Here we go again.

No, Larry, nobody is suggesting that you write reports for projects. 
We're suggesting that you do the thing that you claim that only you are qualified to do.

I have no idea what patents the httpd server might be using, nor do I know how to find out,
nor do I particularly care. You seem to care. Do something about it. Or not. Whatever.

I do know what RFCs we implement, and we have documented those. In the documentation. Not
in a file with a whimsical name, but actually in the docs. It's here: 

> Incubator and infrastructure committees are **required** to report 
> monthly. Want me to write those and save everyone the bother?
> I really hate it when board members pretend that The Apache Software 
> Foundation is free for every Peter Pan to have fun in. I thought our 
> corporate role was to provide professional support – including legally 
> strong policies – for open source projects. And then let THEM do it 
> themselves.

You are saying that "someone should", while also saying "nobody is qualified to do this".
Surely that means that you're the only one that can do it. So do it. Or don't do it. But continuing
to say, again and again, that someone should, doesn't seem terribly productive.

You are, of course, at complete liberty to dismiss and mock the way that Open Source happens,
but it happens when people make it happen, not when people say "someone should."

I'm not speaking as the board. I'm speaking as a PMC member of a couple of projects. If you
think that we're misusing patents (or whatever terminology you lawyer types like to use) then
submit a docs patch. If you want me to call you Peter Pan, I'd be glad to, but I fail to see
what that would accomplish.

Yes, Peter, here at Apache people scratch their itches, and we enable random members of the
public to come in and scratch their itches. People who say "someone should" are assumed to
be volunteering. If this is something that itches you, scratch it. Or don't. But please stop
insisting that "someone should."

Rich Bowen - rbowen@rcbowen.com - @rbowen
http://apachecon.com/ - @apachecon

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