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Discussion behind change to remove Contribution Model for new .NET Foundation Projects? #122

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gortok opened this issue Nov 12, 2020 · 17 comments

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@gortok
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gortok commented Nov 12, 2020

There was a PR that was completed that removed the "Contribution Model" for .NET Foundation projects (in the comments, it specifies 'new projects only').

Two hours later, that PR was reverted.

I haven't seen much (if any) public discussion on this topic; and would like to understand (or be able to read) the documentation and discussion behind such a change (for anyone who may not be aware of the scope of the change: If the 'contribution model' is removed, the only way to get your project into the .NET Foundation is to use the "Assignment Model", where the .NET foundation now owns your project's copyright; and in effect, owns your project).

Where can we talk about / find the existing public artifacts around the discussion for this change so that we can both better understand it, and advocate for or against it as voting members of the .NET foundation?

@gortok
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gortok commented Dec 15, 2020

@clairernovotny Is there any details you can provide on this?

@gortok
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gortok commented Jan 25, 2021

It's important to note that PR was only reverted for the 'projects' repository. The website repository still lists the "Assignment Model" as the only model that new projects can use: dotnet-foundation/website#648

@gortok
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gortok commented Mar 6, 2021

@clairernovotny When can we expect some sort of discussion or explanation around this topic? People who submit their projects can choose either via the template, but are being told to pick the assignment model. #121 (comment)

@clairernovotny
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We have been working with Foundation counsel on this and expect to have more to say in the coming weeks. There are significant implications and differences for how the Foundation can protect the copyright of its member projects based on this.

@AndrewTriesToCode
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AndrewTriesToCode commented Mar 7, 2021

hi @clairernovotny and @gortok

The #121 project @gortok linked to above is my submission, and I'll admit that I am hesitant because of this change. If I understand Claire correctly, for legal reasons assigning the copyright to the foundation enables it to more effectively protect the copyright by doing so for itself rather than on my behalf under the alternative. Is that the primary driver?

I'd like to know what the practical differences are. I know it's hard to say anything specific because no good lawyer would ever want to give hypothetical answers. For example, would I still be able to sell a commercial license to a company that can't use the Apache 2.0 License?

@JimBobSquarePants
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I cannot condone this and if it becomes mandatory I shall withdraw my project membership.

@clairernovotny
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At no point has an assignment agreement been mandatory, nor will it be going forward. There may be fewer protections we can offer projects that use a contribution model over an assignment model, and that is what we are working with the lawyers to articulate.

@gortok
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gortok commented Mar 8, 2021

@clairernovotny
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@ChrisSfanos is helping out with the onboarding process. It's not part of his job at Microsoft to do this. There may have been an unintentional miscommunication along the way but that was never any policy or other change.

@AndrewTriesToCode
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@clairernovotny Thanks for your quick responses. @ChrisSfanos has also been very helpful for me with this process.

I noticed that I submitted my project on Nov 11th, the same day you reverted the change to the application template to add the contribution model back in. I think my application may have been just prior to the revert so I only saw the assignment model on there. Also on the submit a project website page is currently only describes the assignment model.

So to clear things up, at this point both options are open?

@clairernovotny
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@AndrewTriesToCode both options are open.

@gortok
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gortok commented Jul 8, 2021

@clairernovotny what's the timeline on the updated verbiage from the lawyers?

@clairernovotny
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Closing this out for now as the text on the website has been updated. We're still working on a larger overhaul with the lawyers and will post when there's more to share.

@gortok
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gortok commented Jul 28, 2021

@clairernovotny could you link to that website change? I'm looking at main and the projects page still only lists the Assignment model: https://github.com/dotnet-foundation/website/blob/main/input/projects/submit.cshtml

@AndrewTriesToCode
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It here: dotnet-foundation/website#928

not yet merged, but there was a linked PR over on the GitHub issue template for project submission where I also updated the language which was merged

@gortok
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gortok commented Oct 5, 2021

@clairernovotny I'm looking for an update from the .NET foundation on this:

We're still working on a larger overhaul with the lawyers and will post when there's more to share.

What timeframe can we expect here?

@AndrewTriesToCode
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AndrewTriesToCode commented Oct 7, 2021

Yesterday there were a few articles and twitter conversations about the .NET Foundation many of which claimed they forced project creators to sign over their project copyright. Based on my own experience I know this isn't true but yeah it seems that there is need for more prominent clarification.

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