Re: Candidates question: Contributor agreement

On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 4:01 AM, Olav Vitters <olav vitters nl> 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?

Unless you know what the contributor agreement or copyright assignment says, it's hard to make a all encompassing statement on them.

That said, two things:

1) I think GNOME should continue its current policy of not having copyright assignments or contributor agreements. I can see in some cases where it might be beneficial for the GNOME Foundation to hold a copyright to all GNOME code, but I think this is also bad for a number of reasons. I think the current model is working well for us. I do not think GNOME should accept projects that have an agreement mandated by a 3rd party and I think we have been successful at getting others to understand this.

2) I think if there are going to be copyright assignments and contributor agreements, they should be as easy to understand and as standard as possible. If companies want developers to sign an agreement, I think every effort should be made to make sure developers understand exactly what it means. So while I would not encourage anyone to put a copyright/contributor agreement on their code (for moral and business reasons!), I do think things like the SFLC's and Project Harmony's efforts to create standards and templates is good.


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