Dieter Maurer wrote:

> Paul Everitt writes:
>      <>
> The "Committer Agreement" does not seem to be even handed:
>    The committer transfers rights immediately and indefinitely
>    to Zope Corporation (the contributions become a gift to
>    Zope Corporation).

This is an inaccurate representation.  Transfer means you lose the 
rights and we gain the rights.  Under joint ownership, both have rights. 
  I think this point was abundantly clear, so I'm surprised to see you 
portray this as a gift.

>    The agreement states explicitly that no rights are transfered
>    to the committer.

Because they never lost any rights.

>    This is not a problem in itself. However....
>       My intention to contribute would be to strengthen
>       the Open Source Movement. A statement that
>       the supported code base (Zope) will remain open source
>       and that committers will be able to use it (indefinitely)
>       under terms comparable to the current ZPL would
>       help to let the agreement to appear more balanced....

I don't think it's really feasible to 100% guarantee things in the 
future.  Rather, the agreement states that current code, and any 
contribution, will be available under the ZPL.  Nothing can be 
retracted.  If someone comes along and gives us one trillion dollars to 
stop releasing our work as open source, two things would happen:

1) First, we'd take the money. :^)

2) Second, all the existing code has to remain available under the ZPL. 
  We just wouldn't do _new_ things under a ZPL.

This is part of the safety of joint ownership.  If you don't like what 
we do in the future, you still have rights on your contribution.

> The "Commitrer Agreement" is quite threadening:
>    A committer takes over a considerable risk (complete warranty
>    and indemnification with respect to intellectual rights infringement).

Yes.  You can't make the risk disappear.  Someone has to bear the risk. 
  It makes zero sense for ZC to bear the risk of what goes on in someone 
else's brain.  Even in the scenario of carelessness, a case will have to 
be made regarding what you knew and when you knew it.

>    The risk is far higher than that of a (german) employee.
>    German employment law recognizes that
>      *  all people make (sometimes) errors
>      *  coping with isolated errors is far easier for
>         a larger community (the big employer) than
>       a single individual.
>    Therefore, it uses the term "Fahrlässigkeit" (carelessness).
>    An employee has to take all care to not make errors during
>    his work. If something bad happens due to slight
>    carelessness (leicht fahrlässig), then this is
>    a general risk which has to be taken by the employer.
>    If serious carelessness (grob fahrlässig) was the cause,
>    then the employee has to take the consequences for himself.


>    We should have something similar for the committer agreement
>    (not restricted to intellectual property rights!).


>    Maybe something like an insurance for slight carelessness
>    cases...

Unfortunately we'd have to be the insurer. :^(

>    Otherwise, commiting anything might easily ruin an individual.

Instead, you'd prefer that it ruin ZC?  Or are you asserting that 
somehow we could make it so that nobody would be held accountable?

>    Especially with the strange US Patent Laws (where almost
>    everything (such as presenting information in a popup window
>    or integrating a Web Frontend with a baking oven) can
>    be patented) and incredibly high damages amounts
>    (5 billion for a smoker who got cancer) assigned in US courts.

Unfortunately that's the jurisdiction in which we operate.


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