[OpenStack Foundation] Follow up on Future of CLA and DCO

Radcliffe, Mark Mark.Radcliffe at dlapiper.com
Fri Jul 31 16:18:21 UTC 2015

As Mark McLoughlin noted, the Board has asked me  to summarize this unexpected result for the list.  Since I attended the Legal Affairs Committee meeting, I can also add more detail about that discussion.  After I reported the proposed topic for the Board meeting at the Legal Affairs Committee and the likely decision by the board, several members of the Committee expressed concern that they were not aware of this proposal and needed more time to consider it.  At the time, it was not clear if these concerns were sufficiently significant to delay the decision at the Board meeting.

At the Board meeting, several Board members expressed concern that their inhouse counsel had not had the opportunity to review this proposed change.  The Board considered the delay of the decision until the next Board meeting and then decided to do so. Given the importance of the decision, the Board wanted to ensure that all of the members of the Board had the opportunity to consult with their inhouse counsel.  One important element in the decision was that several lawsuits have been filed to enforce FOSS licenses (mostly in Germany) in the last year which could change the views of some companies about the potential risks of employing the DCO in the contribution process (the case against VMware is the most widely known).  However, the Board made clear that the decision would be made at the next Board meeting and that any discussion with inhouse counsel would need to be completed by that date.  To assist inhouse counsel in understanding the issues, the Board asked me to provide a presentation to all inhouse counsel of Board members who wish to join (not just the members of the Legal Affairs Committee).  Since lawyers expect to have a private discussion, this presentation will be limited to inhouse counsel. I will provide the materials that I prepare for the discussion of inhouse counsel to the members of this list. If we have sufficient interest, I will provide the presentation to the community. Just a reminder of my role which is to represent the Foundation, not a particular company.

The Board approved the continued technical preparation for implementing DCO for individual contributions.  Moreover, the Board was also influenced by the fact that the deferral of this Board decision to the next meeting would not delay the implementation of the DCO procedure, if approved, because the earliest that the DCO could be implemented would be at the time of the Mitaka release.
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