Friday, 2 January 2015

Re: [Ubuntu-bugcontrol] Please, consider reflecting on the Canonical Contributor Agreement

On Monday, December 29, 2014 01:09:57 PM Stephen M. Webb wrote:
> Fact is, when it comes time for me to accept or reject a contribution, I
> must outright reject any from an author who has not proven good will, and
> that proof is the CLA.

Fact is you're required to do so by your employer, so no judgment at all on
your part is required. Your thesis would make sense if it required a
reciprocal grant of rights. It doesn't. It demands more from the contributor
in terms of rights than it granted (I'd find the paperwork annoying, but
reasonable if that were not the case).

Fact is prior to the CLA, the type of abuses you're worried about didn't
happen in the project. In fact, Canonical threw away perfectly good code
because some people didn't want to retroactively agree to the original
copyright assignment.

Fact is it's causing external groups to stay away from contributing to
Canonical projects (which contributes to the tautology that the CLA is
reasonable because Canonical is the primary/sole contributor). If you want a
specific example, the CLA is the only reason SDDM is the KDM replacement in
Plasma 5 and not LightDM.

Canonical is free to set the rules for contributions to its projects however
it wants, but I think you misunderstand why there is a CLA. For Ubuntu (the
Linux distribution) there's no CLA and it works fine.

Scott K

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