[legal-discuss] Trivial contributions and CLAs

Radcliffe, Mark Mark.Radcliffe at dlapiper.com
Tue Apr 22 14:53:45 UTC 2014

Why can't they sign the CLA?  IBM and HP are very sensitive to their IP and they have signed it. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Stefano Maffulli [mailto:stefano at openstack.org] 
Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 7:35 AM
To: legal-discuss at lists.openstack.org
Subject: [legal-discuss] Trivial contributions and CLAs

I have been notified of another very small patch that is left in a limbo, with the author not allowed to sign the CLA and the developers stuck in unknown legal territory. You can read more about it on


>From what I can see, the patch is trivial and shouldn't even be copyrightable but the person spotting the issue and fixing it is not comfortable signing the CLAs. Can any other developer copy the patch and put it into our trunk? Until when is this sort of behaviour safe?

We're getting more of these small blockers and I think it's already a problem. Having to sign a Corporate CLA and Individual CLA for a trivial patch, from an operator (whose job is to run clouds, resulting in small and rare patches, not to develop large features) can conflict with our effort to get more operators involved in OpenStack.

I'm not sure what solutions are available. If we can't change the CLA processes easily, what else can we do to get small contributions like these?


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