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Time to change our CLA

by Yajo <yajo.sk8@gmail.com> - 16/01/2016 07:50:26

I, as probably many of you, was quite worried about Odoo becoming LGPL + privative. True, I granted them that right with my CLA, but it's not fun when they execute it.

Later I found Pedro Baeza's slides about the matter and that calmed me down. See slide 15 here: https://www.slideshare.net/mobile/pedromanuelbaezaromero/2015-licencias

Seems legit. We base our work on upstream's LGPL work, and privative addons too, so nothing to worry about unles privative stuff relies on OCA's.

But then lately I reviewed the OCA's CLA and found this gem:

Section 2.1.b:

> To the maximum extent permitted by the relevant law, You grant to Us a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free, irrevocable license under the Copyright covering the Contribution, with the right to sublicense such rights through multiple tiers of sublicensees, to reproduce, modify, display, perform and distribute the Contribution as part of the Material; provided that this license is conditioned upon compliance with Section 2.3.

That means that you can wake up one day and realise that module you contributed last week under AGPL is today LGPL, BSD or Apache. Not fun either.

IMHO it's time to drop that. Instead, the CLA should state that no contributions under non-OSI licenses will be taken, and that you get for granted that your contribution will never be sublicensed without your consent.

The one with the right to licenses the code in a community is the one who pays for it or the one who writes it. Nobody else.

There's a wide range of opinions about what open source should be, and there is a licence for each of those. But when working in a community, the first thing you need is respect. And that goes by respecting each contribution's license.

So what do you think about? Shall we change our CLA or not?

The current status of Odoo makes me think that we should even try to collaborate with people at https://sfconservancy.org/, but that's another day's matter.