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Re: Emacs contributions, C and Lisp

From: Stefan Monnier
Subject: Re: Emacs contributions, C and Lisp
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2014 16:15:00 -0400
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.3.50 (gnu/linux)

> So here are some ideas that would reduce the cost of a first patch:
> - Allow the first 100 patches without a CA.

We currently only allow upto "20 lines worth" of code without CA.

I don't think Richard would want to increase that limit (IIRC the limit
is based not on "the risk is low enough" but on the fact that it's
small enough to be "uncopyrightable" from a legal viewpoint).

But even if we want to increase that limit, it comes with the burden of
keeping track of those things to make sure we don't go over the limit.

Also, this limit is only useful if it completely avoids a CA, not if it
just delays it.  If someone contributed 50 patches, he's likely to end
up wanting/able to contribute more than 100.

Of course, there is an important exception: the contributors has stopped
contributing, we can't even find him, and we want to include code of his
part of some package that's been distributed outside Emacs for
many years.  I'd be happy if we could find a way to accept such cases
(with the understanding that if the contributor ever shows up again,
he'll then have to sign a CA before we can accept his code).

> - Allow electronically-signed CA.

IIUC, this is now the case if you live in the US (and I know the FSF
lawyers are working at making this exception work in more cases).

> - Allow electronically-signed CA for the first 100 patches, and then
>   require dead-tree CA.

Nah, this wouldn't worth the trouble.  I can't think of a single case
where someone would have been able/willing to sign a CA electronically
but refused to sign the paper version.

> - Allow multi-project CAs (perhaps a form with a list of check-boxes).

IIRC someone managed to sign a copyright assignment for "ANY" GNU
project, and I think it'd be nice if it can be done more generally.
But I had the impression the FSF discouraged it strongly, tho I can't
remember why.  Maybe I'm just mistaken.


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