in defense of "contributor agreements" or whatever they are called nowadays
Posted Apr 21, 2011 16:04 UTC (Thu) by farnz
In reply to: in defense of "contributor agreements" or whatever they are called nowadays
Parent article: Project Harmony decloaks
At a really, really trivial level: I work for a company that uses Linux. When I work on an open source project, I am permitted by my contract of employment to contribute my work upstream under the licences the upstream project offers me, provided my employer retains ownership of the copyright. If you ask for a copyright assignment, I have to get the Board of Directors to approve the resulting paperwork. So, I can contribute to the kernel under GPLv2, to X.org under their permissive licence, without going up to the top; I can't contribute to GCC easily, due to the need to get copyright assignment in place, although I can offer a patch under GPLv3 or any later version as long as my employer retains the copyright.
Practically, this means I'm keen on throwing patches at upstream if they don't need copyright assignment, and doing major rewrites as needed to get them to take the feature, where I don't have to maintain it (I'm in the middle of a rewrite for upstream now - and doing the work requested has explained and indicated a fix for at least one bug). If you need copyright assignment, I'm going to be put off contributing due to the hassle.
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