[Live-demo] Fwd: Re: [Incubator] requiring CLA signing

Sebastiaan Couwenberg sebastic at xs4all.nl
Sun Aug 28 04:24:38 PDT 2016

On 08/28/16 12:33, Cameron Shorter wrote:
> On 28/08/2016 11:12 AM, Sebastiaan Couwenberg wrote:
>> On 08/27/16 22:41, Cameron Shorter wrote:
>>> I like the GeoNode process for signing Contributor License Agreements,
>>> and suggest that we should introduce something similar for OSGeo-Live
>>> clahub.com <http://clahub.com>
>> I'd argue for dropping a CLA, it only raises the barrier to contribute
>> without much benefit for the project.
>> See also: http://ebb.org/bkuhn/blog/2014/06/09/do-not-need-cla.html
>> I've recently retracted my pull requests to the protobuf project
>> because they require a CLA before considering the contributions. If
>> you require me to sign a legal document before accepting my patches, I
>> choose not to contribute to your project. The effort is simply not
>> worth it.
> Thanks Bas for the URL. After reading it I agree that we don't want
> contributors to sign a CLA, but rather have an "inbound=outbound"
> process, where developers formally confirm they  agree to the project's
> Open Source license.
> I'm hoping we can make our messy "confirm to an archived email list"
> process cleaner by allowing contributors to use a web page instead,
> which is linked to their git id, and can be used to ensure only
> developers who have confirmed they agree with the license get their git
> code merged.

This is in practice no different. It still raises the barrier to 
contribute. Is OSGeo-Live in such a luxurious position that people are 
eager to contribute no matter the hoops they need to jump through before 
they can contribute? Obvious it is not, and any additional hoop 
decreases the number of people willing to contribute.

By submitting a PR or sending patches to the mailinglist, the license is 
implicitly the same as the project. Unless code from another project 
(with a different license) is used, not specific extra steps should be 
required. If code from another project with a different but compatible 
license is submitted, that fact should be documented in the submission.

I've never sent the "I confirm that my contributions to OSGeo-Live will 
be compatible with the OSGeo-Live license guidelines at the time of 
contribution" message for my contributions to OSGeo-Live and those 
changes were happily accepted. Those contributions were implicitly under 
the same license as the project.

Adding a sentence to the contributor guidelines along the lines of "By 
contributing to OSGeo-Live you confirm that your contributions are 
conform the license guidelines at the time of contribution." should be 
sufficient. The act of contributing confirms license compliance, no 
additional action required not even a click on a CLA form.

Can you explain why developers should explicitly confirm they agree with 
the OSGeo-Live licenses before getting they contributions accepted?

Kind Regards,


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