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

Alberto Salvia Novella es20490446e at gmail.com
Tue Dec 30 02:08:01 UTC 2014

Stephen M. Webb:
 > That social contract is <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.txt>.

Stephen M. Webb:
> The GPL is not a social contract, it is a legal agreement defining
> the terms of use and distribution of a work of software.

I thought it would be well understood written that way, but I can be 
more explicit if needed:

The social contract, the purpose of any copy-left license, is the work 
to always remain libre; so anyone can enjoy it the way they wish. While 
the license is the legal mean for that goal.

When you give the option to re-license the work under a non copy-left 
license, the original purpose is gone. The company has privileges on the 
code over the rest of people, which concludes in a rigid development 
ecosystem where a few really own the software and the rest are the manpower.

Stephen M. Webb:
 > Yes, the rhetorical techniques of vagueness ("power over the code")
 > and pathos [2] ("unlimited power!!!1!") can be powerful tools, but as
 > an engineer I prefer facts.

As lean system engineer, prize in physics, computer engineering student, 
and member of the club of the human resources of my university with 
about 6000 hours of training in leadership, coaching and emotional 
intelligence (and some more delusional stuff that never mattered); this 
is what I have to say:

The fact is companies where workers are the ones who takes decisions are 
by far much successful than those where decisions are made by a few.

And this is because nobody has a brain as big as it will require to 
control everything, and nobody has as expertise as accurate as all the 
people in the front lines put together.

Moreover, it's emotionally exhausting to handle such an amount of 
responsibility put on one person. Managers tend to feel attached, and 
finish paying attention to nobody; while answering pervasively to 

As specimen, the company that you pursue to imitate:

Stephen M. Webb:
 > Because the power over use of copyrighted works is balanced in favour
 > of the original author (as it should be), it puts any business that
 > makes use of the copyrighted work at the mercy of that author. For
 > example, an organization that provides a software program used to
 > operate a general-purpose computer might accept a small contribution
 > to improve the performance of the program on a particular device. The
 > contribution is then included in the software program and distributed
 > widely. Subsequently, the author of the contribution revokes or
 > changes the license terms, forcing the organization to remove the
 > contribution at its expense and disrupting its business, possibly
 > even terminating it. This is certainly not the intended consequence
 > of copyright or patent law, but certainly a very real possibility,
 > and one which has been used in practice on several high-profile
 > occasions.

As far as I know, it's not possible to revoke any license grant you have 
given in the past; so the license itself protects against abuse from the 
original author.

And even if this wasn't the case, it won't be necessary the contribution 
agreement to give the power to publish under any license; but only to 
the same one and subsequent.

Stephen M. Webb:
 > So, you can not enumerate the abuses engendered by asking for a grant
 > of license. That's OK, you simply make my point for me, thank you.

Instead of repeating myself, I'm going to ask you a question:
What do you think my purpose is?

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