[Ubuntu-bugcontrol] Please, consider reflecting on the Canonical Contributor Agreement

Stephen M. Webb stephen.webb at canonical.com
Mon Dec 29 04:58:09 UTC 2014

On 12/28/2014 09:50 PM, Alberto Salvia Novella wrote:
> But there's a problem with that, which is it overrides the social contract with people to code to belong to the world
> not to a group of individuals; making the system abusive by design.
> It's like telling that an autocracy is better because its drivers have extra flexibility to do whatever will be needed
> in future, which is also a proven method for sinking projects and communities.
> So please address the root causes that let to this issue, so we have a healthy environment for everyone.

I think you will find that there is no conflict between any vaguely defined "social contract" and the requirements for
acceptable code submission to a software project.  If you could enumerate the abuses engendered by asking for a grant of
license I'd be happy to address them individually.

In order to accept code contribution to a Canonical-led software project a small number of conditions need to be
satisfied.  Among these conditiona are a strict minimum level of demonstrable code quality (we do no want buggy code),
applicability (we do not want irrelevant code), and the same rights as the author (an explicit rights grant, also known
as the CLA).

You will find upon a close reading of the various source code distribution licenses that they do not harbour any
requirements that arbitrary code contributions must be accepted upstream.  In fact, you will not find any examples of
Free or open source software projects anywhere that unconditionally accept arbitrary code contributions.  It's just not
a thing.

If you truly believe that the original works of an author or authors belong not to them individually but to some larger
collective, you would probably be more effective talking to legislators to get the copyright and patent laws in your
local jurisdiction struck down, and best of luck with that.  Mean time we will continue asking the authors of
contributions to agree to share the specific rights in their work if they want it accepted into a Canonical-led project.
 That's the best way to guarantee fairness for everyone.

Stephen M. Webb  <stephen.webb at canonical.com>

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