Bradley Kuhn of the Software Conservancy is clearly opposed both to Project Harmony’s work products and sponsors.
In short, Project Harmony is a design-flawed solution looking for a problem.
Stephen Walli of the Outercurve Foundation seems happy with the results.
The Harmony Project is an attempt to provide some clarity to the discussion by creating a set of usable documents (with their guide, Creative Commons-style agreement generator, and FAQ) and the first version of the documents will be a stake in the ground to anchor debate for some time. I’ve great confidence that the agreements will continue to evolve with discussion and debate, and the core Harmony team should be applauded for their efforts to date.
- Harmony Agreements Reach 1.0
Open source consultant Dave Neary has a view that I find it easy to share.
Do you really need a CLA to achieve your objectives? Is it, in fact, harmful to some of what you want to achieve? At the end of the day, my position remains the same: the goal should not be to write a better CLA, it should be to figure out whether we can avoid one altogether, and figure out how to create and thrive in a vibrant developer community.
The first part of the article by Richard Fontana of Red Hat.
Despite my admiration, respect and affection for those who have been driving Harmony, I cannot endorse the product of their work. I believe Harmony is unnecessary, confusing, and potentially hazardous to open source and free software development.
The second part of the article by Richard Fontana of Red Hat. Richard declares the whole Harmony project misguided.
Formal contributor agreements, whether maximalist or minimalist, remain an uncommon phenomenon in open source. We are only beginning to learn what works, what fails, and what causes harm to open source community development. It is premature for us to unify, or harmonize, the ‘law’ of open source contribution policies. We are particularly not ready to declare victory for the perennially controversial maximalist approach, let alone Harmony’s new take on it.
Here finally is the Harmony website complete with the release version of the agreements, largely hidden behind a form-driven wizard. I’d suggest you consider all forms the the CAA to be bad for your community, and only the first two variants of the CLA – with fixed and limited outbound licenses – to be usable (carefully) without harm assuming you have decided that some form of copyright accumulation is unavoidable.
(Footnote: This link post is the basis for Thursday’s Joining The Dots)
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