> I would politely ask them if the for-profit company that I then worked for (allmydata.com) could please have the rights to do whatever we wanted with the patches. With two exceptions they all said "sure".
Why don't you just license your project under an MIT license then? The issue that I see, is that of complexity. Licensing is already hard to understand. Even for lawyers, not to speak of code contributors. So when there are licenses out there that can solve the goals that you have in your project, why not simply use these?
By introducing *another* complex legal document that interacts with the first one, the legal subleties become so complex that they are very hard to grok.
Reading the harmony options is hard, then thinking about how those options interact and interfere with the rights and limitations set out for various licenses is HARD:
- If I sign over copyright, and get a liberal license can I still sue, or only you?
- If I license contributions under the MIT license, what are the additional rights you get?
- If I contribute as part of my job, is it legal for me to sign away my copyright (ie in might be my employers copyright in the first place and they might have opinions about giving away their copyright)
- Licenses are already hard enough to apply in all jurisdictions, what about CAs. Now, you'll have different status for people contributing from countries where you can sign off copyright, compared to those where you can't (I *believe* e.g. in Germany you can't). More complexity.
I know all these questions are probably answered somewhere, but they are questions that come on top of licensing issues, and that puts me off.
Using 2 complex legal agreements when most of the goals can be reached with a single one does not sound appealing to me, I mean there are plenty of people who haven't even fully gotten the GPL, and now you expect contributors to become lawyers just to submit a bugfix? :-)