Provisions Considered but not Included

Project Harmony considered a number of provisions but decided not to include them in the contributor agreements. This summary is not comprehensive, but includes the provisions which are most likely to be the subject of questions.

  1. Venue. A venue provision would require that disputes must be brought in a particular court or jurisdiction. For example, a venue provision would require that all disputes be brought in the Northern District of California. We decided that prescribing a specific venue was too controversial.
  2. Managing Submissions Including Works Whose Copyright is Owned by a Third Party. We discussed whether to permit Contributions to include works whose copyright is owned by third parties. This issue arises because many Submissions include works whose copyright is owned by third parties and not the contributor. For example, contributors may submit patches on behalf of another developer, may submit code from another project with a compatible license, or may submit changes in the form of a branch of a revision control repository or a modified copy of the entire work. The approaches of existing FOSS projects to this issue vary widely. We decided that these approaches are sufficiently different that a single solution will not work for all FOSS projects, so individual projects adopting a Harmony contributor agreement should determine how they want to handle these issues, and provide a link to their policies from the contributor agreement.
  3. No Definitions of Code/Object Code/Source Code. Many FOSS licenses include a distinction between Source Code and Object Code. However, after considerable discussion, we decided that the Harmony agreements did not need to make these distinctions. We decided to include all types of works in the definition of Contribution and have included a single subset of Contribution in the definition of Media.
  4. Trademarks. We decided not to address trademarks in the Harmony agreements because few contributors have rights in the trademarks of the Work. Moreover, these issues tend to vary widely among FOSS projects.
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