Announcing OWFa and CLA 1.0

jonathon jonathon.blake at
Fri Apr 1 23:26:33 UTC 2011

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On 31/03/2011 17:04, John Cowan wrote:

>  I've never seen the point of signed CLAs.

An individual, or organization find some FLOSS that almost suits their
needs. They make some changes to it. They are willing to send the
changes upstream, under any license upstream wants. What the
organization, or individual does not want, is to have to keep track of
that contribution.

- From the POV of the company, the contributed code is an asset that has
nominal value. Keeping it on the books as an asset, costs the company
more than the code is worth. Giving the code away saves the company money.

Whilst very few companies have adopted that position, they are out
there. Typically, these are companies that have small IT departments,
and don't want to have anything to do with the software business.
As FLOSS increases its market penetration, I expect to see more
companies adopt this attitude. We'll customize the software for our
needs, and send it upstream, but only if it is accompanied by a CLA that
assigns copyright, etc to the upstream organization that "produces" the
FLOSS software.

Sidenote: Currently, this attitude is mainly found in companies that
would almost rather spend a million dollars for an IT solution, than own
the IT solution, because IT is, at best, a distraction to their core
business, which is in a completely different industry.

- -- 
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