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Old 07-06-2011, 07:52 PM
"Jared K. Smith"
 
Default Fedora Board Recap 07-06-2011

On Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 3:19 PM, Rahul Sundaram <metherid@gmail.com> wrote:
> On 07/06/2011 11:52 PM, Jon Stanley wrote:
>> ** Having a default licensing agreement makes sense, don't want to go
>> towards copyright assignment

> This makes it seem like a either/or choice. *That isn't the case.

Well, in this particular case, it doesn't have to be either/or. But
as that applies to the FPCA, we either make it mandatory (and live
with a safety net of "implicit licensing"), or we don't name it
mandatory and go the route of "explicit licensing" on every single
contribution. I don't see a way to avoid the either/or in that.

> My concerns as I clarified several times had nothing to do with usability.

That was a misunderstanding on our part, then. I don't remember which
of the Board members brought that point up in the meeting, but I
apologize if we misunderstood your points.

> .In any case, *since the board seems uninterested in the issues I
> raised. *I will drop this discussion.

C'mon, Rahul. Don't go there. I think you're making a gross
mischaracterization if you think the Board is uninterested in the
issues you raised. The very fact that we we've discussed things on
this list, then in a Board meeting, and had a lively debate about the
pros and cons of your proposal, and then a formal vote shows that we
do care about the issues you raised. We might not agree completely
with you views on the issue, but that doesn't mean we're uninterested.

--
Jared Smith
Fedora Project Leader
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:57 PM
Rahul Sundaram
 
Default Fedora Board Recap 07-06-2011

On 07/07/2011 01:22 AM, Jared K. Smith wrote:
> Well, in this particular case, it doesn't have to be either/or. But
> as that applies to the FPCA, we either make it mandatory (and live
> with a safety net of "implicit licensing"), or we don't name it
> mandatory and go the route of "explicit licensing" on every single
> contribution. I don't see a way to avoid the either/or in that.

As I have pointed out, there are some contributions Fedora routinely
accepts that doesn't have a license and isn't covered by the FPCA

>> My concerns as I clarified several times had nothing to do with usability.
> That was a misunderstanding on our part, then. I don't remember which
> of the Board members brought that point up in the meeting, but I
> apologize if we misunderstood your points.

This is why when you want to discuss the concerns raised, you invite
both sides so that both sides are represented. I am disappointed that
it hasn't happened.

> C'mon, Rahul. Don't go there. I think you're making a gross
> mischaracterization if you think the Board is uninterested in the
> issues you raised. The very fact that we we've discussed things on
> this list, then in a Board meeting, and had a lively debate about the
> pros and cons of your proposal, and then a formal vote shows that we
> do care about the issues you raised. We might not agree completely
> with you views on the issue, but that doesn't mean we're uninterested.

I find my views misrepresented as evident above and I don't see how this
discussion address any of the points I mentioned.

Rahul

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Old 07-06-2011, 07:58 PM
Richard Fontana
 
Default Fedora Board Recap 07-06-2011

On Wed, Jul 06, 2011 at 02:22:46PM -0400, Jon Stanley wrote:
> ** FPCA was not mandated by Red Hat Legal (and significant staffing
> changes since CLA was mandated)
> ** Having a default licensing agreement makes sense, don't want to go
> towards copyright assignment
> ** Other projects have similar agreements, for example Asterisk.

Whoa. I object, if the Board is suggesting that the Asterisk agreement
bears any similarity to the FPCA.

The Asterisk contributor agreement seems to be this one, the "Digium
Open Source Software Project Submission Agreement v3.0":
https://issues.asterisk.org/view_license_agreement.php

It says:

You hereby grant Digium a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free,
irrevocable, non-exclusive, and transferable license to use,
reproduce, prepare derivative works of, publicly display, publicly
perform, distribute the Submissions, and to sublicense such rights
to others. The rights granted may be exercised in any form or
format, and Digium may distribute and sublicense to others on any
licensing terms, including without limitation: (a) open source
licenses like the GNU General Public License (GPL), or the Berkeley
Science Division license (BSD); or (b) binary, proprietary, or
commercial licenses.

This is essentially like the *letter* of the old Fedora CLA, only it
is more straightforward, and, possibly an important difference, the
inbound rights explicitly go only to Digium. And unlike the old Fedora
CLA it would provide no basis for the interpretation of the latter
which saved it from utter fail (thank you spot). (It is also
disturbing in getting the expansion of "BSD" wrong but that's a minor
point.) The Asterisk agreement is only nominally different from
copyright assignment.

I note it also goes on to say:

If Your Submission is derived from software released by Digium under
the GPL, Digium as licensor thereof waives such requirements of the
GPL as applied to that software to the limited extent necessary to
allow you to provide the Submission and the foregoing license to
Digium.

I am not sure what this means but I *think* this is a way of saying
"don't even *think* of arguing that you're licensing your
contributions in under the GPL to us just because we licensed software
to you under the GPL".

So, no, Fedora Board, the FPCA is not like the Asterisk contributor
agreement!

- RF

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Old 07-06-2011, 08:17 PM
Richard Fontana
 
Default Fedora Board Recap 07-06-2011

On Wed, Jul 06, 2011 at 03:58:10PM -0400, Richard Fontana wrote:
> I note it also goes on to say:
>
> If Your Submission is derived from software released by Digium under
> the GPL, Digium as licensor thereof waives such requirements of the
> GPL as applied to that software to the limited extent necessary to
> allow you to provide the Submission and the foregoing license to
> Digium.
>
> I am not sure what this means but I *think* this is a way of saying
> "don't even *think* of arguing that you're licensing your
> contributions in under the GPL to us just because we licensed software
> to you under the GPL".

Indeed, that clause makes it the exact opposite of the FPCA. It
effectively says (in a way that I suspect many individual contributors
would miss) you can't deviate from the default maximal inbound
copyright license by having the gall to designate the outbound
Asterisk license as your contribution license.

- RF

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Old 07-06-2011, 08:47 PM
Rahul Sundaram
 
Default Fedora Board Recap 07-06-2011

On 07/07/2011 02:18 AM, Richard Fontana wrote:
> Arguably, a benefit of the FPCA is that in a large number of cases
> that might otherwise be governed by implicit licensing, there is an
> understanding that an explicit license has been granted by the
> contributor, so there is total clarity about the terms governing the
> contribution. I think that must be the point the Board was really
> trying to make. This may also lead to additional benefits which I have
> heard spot articulate. But most projects deal with implicit licensing
> to some degree or other, including Fedora.

I believe the benefits of a explicit license for specific classes of
contributions (spec files for instance) and leaving the rest that is
typically uncovered by FPCA as implicit licensed but continuing to
encourage (but not mandate) explicit licensing gets us the benefits
without having a additional layer of agreement.

Rahul
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:48 PM
Richard Fontana
 
Default Fedora Board Recap 07-06-2011

On Thu, Jul 07, 2011 at 12:49:11AM +0530, Rahul Sundaram wrote:
> On 07/06/2011 11:52 PM, Jon Stanley wrote:
> > *** In the US, at least, there's only minimal rights associated with
> > things that have no license, therefore, we would be on shakey legal
> > grounds if we accepted contributions without license terms
>
> Yet this routinely happens. Patches contributed via bugzilla or ones
> that contributors pick from mailing lists etc.

I think there may be some confusion on this one particular
point. Something can be licensed even if it doesn't have an explicit
license notice on it. Implicit licensing is pervasive in free software
development.

We use the term of art "Unlicensed" in the FPCA, but, if you imagine a
world where the FPCA isn't used *and* Rahul's mandatory explicit
licensing alternative isn't adopted, Fedora contributions are still
licensed even when they don't have license notices on them. And those
Bugzilla patches or mailing list patches from non-FAS people are
licensed too. In the FPCA, "Unlicensed" just means "doesn't have an
explicit license notice"; it doesn't mean unlicensed.

Arguably, a benefit of the FPCA is that in a large number of cases
that might otherwise be governed by implicit licensing, there is an
understanding that an explicit license has been granted by the
contributor, so there is total clarity about the terms governing the
contribution. I think that must be the point the Board was really
trying to make. This may also lead to additional benefits which I have
heard spot articulate. But most projects deal with implicit licensing
to some degree or other, including Fedora.

- RF

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Old 07-06-2011, 08:49 PM
Jon Stanley
 
Default Fedora Board Recap 07-06-2011

On Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 3:58 PM, Richard Fontana <rfontana@redhat.com> wrote:

> Whoa. I object, if the Board is suggesting that the Asterisk agreement
> bears any similarity to the FPCA.
>
> The Asterisk contributor agreement seems to be this one, the "Digium
> Open Source Software Project Submission Agreement v3.0":
> https://issues.asterisk.org/view_license_agreement.php

Yeah, perhaps I didn't make it as clear in the notes (and probably
should have deleted it). we discussed the Asterisk agreement and the
uniqueness of it due to the dual-licensing model of Asterisk, and
Digium needs to have the rights to make a proprietary distribution of
your contributions. This is obviously the *exact opposite* of what
we're aiming for with the FPCA.

The Canonical agreement was also discussed, as an example of where we
don't want to go - that agreement provides *no* protection against
proprietary relicensing.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:02 PM
"Jared K. Smith"
 
Default Fedora Board Recap 07-06-2011

On Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 3:58 PM, Richard Fontana <rfontana@redhat.com> wrote:
> Whoa. I object, if the Board is suggesting that the Asterisk agreement
> bears any similarity to the FPCA.

I didn't mean to imply in the meeting that the FPCA was an analog to
the Asterisk agreement, but I see that the meeting minutes look that
way. I'm sorry for the confusion there.

I brought up the license agreement in Asterisk as an example of a
community (one that I'm very familiar with) that took a long hard look
at explicit licensing vs. implicity licensing. I didn't mean to imply
that the the Asterisk license agreement itself is close to the FPCA.
I even said in the meeting something to the effect of "Coming from the
Asterisk community, and reading the first few drafts of the FPCA was
like a breath of fresh air."

I'll be the first to admit that although I understand Digium's
reasoning behind their license agreement, it is not my favorite. The
FPCA, on the other hand, is not only simpler to understand, but much
more fair (in my opinion).

--
Jared Smith
Fedora Project Leader
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:21 PM
Richard Fontana
 
Default Fedora Board Recap 07-06-2011

On Wed, Jul 06, 2011 at 05:02:01PM -0400, Jared K. Smith wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 3:58 PM, Richard Fontana <rfontana@redhat.com> wrote:
> > Whoa. I object, if the Board is suggesting that the Asterisk agreement
> > bears any similarity to the FPCA.
>
> I didn't mean to imply in the meeting that the FPCA was an analog to
> the Asterisk agreement, but I see that the meeting minutes look that
> way. I'm sorry for the confusion there.
>
> I brought up the license agreement in Asterisk as an example of a
> community (one that I'm very familiar with) that took a long hard look
> at explicit licensing vs. implicity licensing. I didn't mean to imply
> that the the Asterisk license agreement itself is close to the FPCA.
> I even said in the meeting something to the effect of "Coming from the
> Asterisk community, and reading the first few drafts of the FPCA was
> like a breath of fresh air."
>
> I'll be the first to admit that although I understand Digium's
> reasoning behind their license agreement, it is not my favorite. The
> FPCA, on the other hand, is not only simpler to understand, but much
> more fair (in my opinion).

Ah, I apologize for my misunderstanding. I fully realized the
possibility that my remarks might annoy you of course. :-)

- RF

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Old 07-06-2011, 09:26 PM
Richard Fontana
 
Default Fedora Board Recap 07-06-2011

On Wed, Jul 06, 2011 at 04:49:03PM -0400, Jon Stanley wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 3:58 PM, Richard Fontana <rfontana@redhat.com> wrote:
>
> > Whoa. I object, if the Board is suggesting that the Asterisk agreement
> > bears any similarity to the FPCA.
> >
> > The Asterisk contributor agreement seems to be this one, the "Digium
> > Open Source Software Project Submission Agreement v3.0":
> > https://issues.asterisk.org/view_license_agreement.php
>
> Yeah, perhaps I didn't make it as clear in the notes (and probably
> should have deleted it). we discussed the Asterisk agreement and the
> uniqueness of it due to the dual-licensing model of Asterisk, and
> Digium needs to have the rights to make a proprietary distribution of
> your contributions. This is obviously the *exact opposite* of what
> we're aiming for with the FPCA.

Right, I misunderstood. Sorry.

Of course Digium doesn't "need" to have those rights, as I'm sure
there are other viable business models it could pursue. (There is a
possibility that counsel for Digium is subscribed to this mailing list
so I am sort of trolling that person too.

> The Canonical agreement was also discussed, as an example of where we
> don't want to go - that agreement provides *no* protection against
> proprietary relicensing.

You are correct, sir.

- RF

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