Thank you for the link. I read through it, along with the (much longer) blog 
post linked at the beginning. The first thing it made me realize is that I 
should be more clear: I am not advocating for a CLA! I agree with most of the 
arguments against them that both posts make.

All I was saying is that, given Racket does not have any form of copyright 
assignment agreement, as the blog post calls them, Racket as an organization 
does not possess the copyright to contributors’ code, and they do not control 
enforcement of that copyright. AFAICT, the linked blog post supports that 
(though it argues that’s a good thing, which I agree with, and it also makes an 
argument that a CLA doesn’t necessarily change that in a simple way, either, 
which was indeed news to me and was interesting to read).

I feel like I have reason to believe my interpretation is correct, as it isn’t 
entirely theoretical. In 2014, the developers of the popular, open-source 
Minecraft server modding framework, CraftBukkit, decided to retire the project 
after years of volunteer work. Mojang, Minecraft’s developer, announced they 
had secretly purchased ownership of the project from its co-founders years 
before when they had hired several of them to become Mojang employees, and they 
said would continue the project themselves. That upset several of the 
volunteers, as they realized Mojang had been knowingly exploiting their unpaid 
labor for years without offering any help. One of the developers of CraftBukkit 
proceeded to send Mojang a DMCA takedown request for his own source code, as 
CraftBukkit was GPL-licensed, and the whole project was technically illegal to 
begin with (since it modified and redistributed proprietary Minecraft source 

Assuming the takedown request was legal (which is to say, assuming the 
developer really did hold the copyright), then to comply with it, Mojang would 
have needed to either release the Minecraft server code under the GPL, 
something they were clearly not about to do, or abandon CraftBukkit (or at 
least the parts of it that developer wrote). They chose the latter, despite 
surely having a perfectly capable legal team. Realistically, do I think any 
Racket contributors are going to start DMCAing projects in violation of the 
LGPL for parts of the Racket codebase they hold copyright on? No. But I don’t 
see why the situation would legally be any different for Racket than it was for 

> On Aug 23, 2019, at 14:48, Matthew Butterick <> wrote:
> Bradley Kuhn, director of the SFC, has explained why FLOSS projects don't 
> need CLAs, along with some underlying legal truths about FLOSS contributions. 
> [1] 
> [1] 
> <>
>> On 23 Aug 19, at 12:29 PM, Alexis King < 
>> <>> wrote:
>> Maybe so, but that is, in fact, why I sent the email. I was hoping you could 
>> clue me in as to what I was missing. (Maybe it’s unfair of me to ask you for 
>> free legal analysis, but I don’t feel like it’s all that unreasonable to ask 
>> for just a little clarification here.)

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