Re: Candidates question: Contributor agreement

hi Olav,

On Thu, 2011-05-26 at 12:01 +0200, 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?

First let me say that I believe that contributor agreements and
copyright assignment, in practise, tend to be functionally equivalent.
For this reason, I think they deserve equal treatment.

I think our current policy on copyright assignment is excessively
wishy-washy.  I'd actually be in favour of a new policy:


External dependencies are one thing, but I feel very strongly that any
sort of legal agreement as a precondition to participate in the
development of software that is considered part of the GNOME project is
completely unacceptable.

There are two reasons for this:

First, GNOME is a community project.  It belongs to the community.  I
fundamentally disagree with any company ever having exclusive rights
over 'their corner'.  It's totally incompatible, in my opinion, with the
very concept of a true community free software project.

Second, I think that having a legal document as a barrier to entry to
contribute to GNOME (or part of it) is undesirable.  One of the best
things about our project is the low barriers that typically exist
between different modules.  Our commit access reflects this philosophy:
it's easy to get in, and once you're in, you're in.  Erecting artificial
barriers would very much be moving backwards here.


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