Open Source license with copyright assignment is Open Source if and only if the copyright assignment is to guaranteed neutral entity like a foundation, and even with a foundation assignment is an impediment. “Contributor agreement” does not imply “copyright assignment” even though they are often conflated.

Protip: when you talk to corporate lawyers about releasing software as open source, you can mention that the contributor agreement with widest acceptance for community participation is the Linux kernel developer certificate of origin. Even easier now with (as +Greg Kroah-Hartman announced here on G+ a couple days ago). Of course, that option is available only if there isn’t already a decision made to do “business source” (now there’s an ambiguous term…) or “open core” instead of open source. But it can make sense when the lawyers are just good lawyers doing their job.

Google System…

True statement. And yeah, without the CLA, we would very likely have worked on upstart, instead of starting the systemd project. Four years ago we talked to lawyers and tried pretty hard to convince them to give it up, but there was no way to negotiate.

Today, I very much enjoy the fact that this is a good example what you do to your project or company if you try to skew the free software playing field too much with tricky contracts. You just get what you build, an/your island.

“Wildly Off-Topic: I should note that I think if upstart did not have the CLA that it does, the rest of the FOSS world might have just improved it, and systemd might never have shown up. I suspect that the fate of bzr might be similar.

These should serve as a cautionary tale for for-profit companies requiring CLAs. [Or everyone, even.]”

Bug#727708: Thoughts on Init System Debate

Imported from Google+ — content and formatting may not be reliable