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From Craig Russell <craig.russ...@oracle.com>
Subject Re: on clear intent sufficient to accept contributions
Date Sun, 14 Aug 2016 05:39:00 GMT
As I understand it, there is a practical reason for PMCs to request (require) an explicit ICLA
before accepting a clever or large contribution.

If we accept the contribution, and later there is some issue (e.g. lawsuit) over whether the
contributor actually intended or had legal rights to contribute, the project would be required
to remove the offending code and either reimplement or disable the functionality.

So the issue comes down to risk. For trivial contributions, reimplementing is an easy option.
For clever or large contributions, there is much more work to do in the event of a contested
contribution.

To avoid the risk associated with clever or large contributions, most PMCs request a formal
ICLA to be filed.

Craig

> On Aug 13, 2016, at 5:36 PM, Henri Yandell <bayard@apache.org> wrote:
> 
> 
> It sounds like a request for legal advice - which this list isn't for. i.e. I don't see
that there's a 'canonical position' that can exist. There's how we do things, but that's just
a policy we've chosen for our development.
> 
> ---
> 
> Stating my understanding of the Apache policy - Apache requires ICLAs of its committers,
uses ICLAs or a software license (https://www.apache.org/licenses/software-grant.txt <https://www.apache.org/licenses/software-grant.txt>)
for exceptional contributions from contributors and generally relies on clause 5 of the Apache
License 2.0 for other contributions from contributors. 
> 
> Hen
> 
> 
> On Fri, Jul 29, 2016 at 8:01 AM, Andrew Petro <apetro.lists@gmail.com <mailto:apetro.lists@gmail.com>>
wrote:
> Hi again,
> 
> There's a desire to secure a "canonical position" from Apache <https://groups.google.com/a/apereo.org/d/msg/licensing-discuss/c1puG3RKZcA/t0OG_DdAAwAJ>
wrt the necessity of securing ICLAs from contributors rather than only from committers, beyond
my amateur analysis, this legal-discuss@ list thread, and LEGAL-156 <https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-156?focusedCommentId=13554864&page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel#comment-13554864>.
> 
> Is there a viable path to such a canonical position? Ought I to open a LEGAL JIRA issue
requesting this?
> 
> Kind regards,
> 
> Andrew
> 
> 
> On Wed, Jun 29, 2016 at 11:18 PM, Henri Yandell <bayard@apache.org <mailto:bayard@apache.org>>
wrote:
> 
> 
> On Wed, Jun 29, 2016 at 8:52 AM, Stian Soiland-Reyes <stain@apache.org <mailto:stain@apache.org>>
wrote:
> On 29 June 2016 at 16:32, Ted Dunning <ted.dunning@gmail.com <mailto:ted.dunning@gmail.com>>
wrote:
> >
> > As a practical matter, I think that you should use some judgement about how significant
the pull request is.  If it is large enough or clever enough to be hard to replicate you should
probably ask for a more formal record of agreement to the license.
> 
> Agree on "large" or "clever" being triggers.
> 
> Also an ICLA is good to clarify if it could be unclear if the
> contribution is the sole work of the contributor (and that she has the
> right to contribute it) or is code imported from "somewhere" (e.g.
> obvious code style differences).
> 
> With a signed ICLA/CCLA we have the legal backing that the named
> contributor claimed to have the rights to contribute under the Apache
> License - a semi-anonymous GitHub user "coder42" is a bit more dubious
> if questions are later raised about Intellectual Property rights.
> 
> So as a rough guide, a typical small patch/pull request is easy,
> someone adding a couple of brand new classes/files should raise
> warning signs and new modules/folders should be require ICLA. If the
> code looks like a mixed ragbag, ask for further provenance, an ICLA
> and code style cleanup :).
> 
> Noting, as it relates to the subject, clause 5 of Apache License 2.0:
> 
> 5. Submission of Contributions <>. Unless You explicitly state otherwise, any Contribution
intentionally submitted for inclusion in the Work by You to the Licensor shall be under the
terms and conditions of this License, without any additional terms or conditions. Notwithstanding
the above, nothing herein shall supersede or modify the terms of any separate license agreement
you may have executed with Licensor regarding such Contributions.
> 
> 
> Hen
> 
> 

Craig L Russell
clr@apache.org



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