Re: Candidates question: Contributor agreement

On 2011-05-26 at 12:01, Olav Vitters wrote:
> Given that we already have a policy on copyright assignments[1], I
> wondered what is your position regarding contributor agreements[2]?
> Should the board do something with contributor agreements and if so,
> what should be done?

as a developer and maintainer that has fought for two years to remove
the copyright assignment (and a contributor agreement) on a project I
worked on from within the company I work for, I can only say that we
should have the same position on both.

contributor agreements are just a "diet copyright assignment"; they
introduce a barrier to contribution, and an asymmetry on the work of
people helping a project.

the only barely acceptable kind of contributor agreement is the one
where one end is firmly held by a non-commercial entity; but even then
the barrier to contribution can become too high. many new contributors
arrive to a project because they have a small itch to scratch; if they
have to send paperwork to fix their small issues you're effectively
adding stop energy.

so my personal stance on the matter is that both are generally wrong,
with contributor agreements being only slightly less wrong and only in
certain cases.



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