Community mailing list archives

Re: FW: access to code under AGPL v3

Andi Becker
- 01/25/2016 02:15:07
Thanks for those explanations Graeme. Especially for the link:

As I compare it OCA did not take the full suggested license texts which gets provided by harmonyagreements, why not?

So how can someone contribute to OCA and avoid that his contribution will be included into a relicensed product under an OSI which could be so permissive that it can be used in proprietary code where he won't have any access anymore?

Jairo answered that point as followed and he is absolutely correct:

"That means that you can wake up one day and realise that module you contributed last week under AGPL is today LGPL, BSD or Apache. Not fun either."

He made a suggestion of changes which makes changes to another license only possible if the authors and contributors agree. Or simply don't use anymore a CLA so that anybody with great ideas could contribute, even he hasn't signed the CLA.

For me it looks like as the focus of the CLA is not on the rights of authors and contributors but more the goal enabling a future license change, so that also proprietary code can link to it much easier.

If you want to keep track who actually contributed to a product than it is good to have a CLA, but there is absolut no need to do further restrictions or enabling things which the author or any contributor perhaps don't like.

As you don't like Apache, for whatever reason, there are others which don't like that it is said that they retain all rights like before signing the agreement and than just in the next paragraph it is written that if they sign actually all those rights get to be obsolete as at any given time the OCA can relicense his works so that it could be integrated much easier i.e. with closed source projects. Actually they still can use their own copyrighted version as before which than brings up the problem of 2 products which do the same under different licenses and they perhaps even have the same name! Already Maxime mentioned that problem and suggested that people should take the OCA module to be on the secure site, which again brings up the problem how to find out what is OCA and what not. IMHO all thos confusion is absolut unnecessary if OCA trusts their products which are currently (mostly) under AGPL. There would be absolute no need for any license changes at all, nor for any CLA. Perhaps OCA trusts their code but for sure not their contributors as that CLA tries to put them on leaches, they perhaps don't like.

"Wer Misstrauen saeht wird auch Misstrauen ernten!" ;-) 

With kind regards,
Mit freundlichen Grüßen,
Con un cordial saludo,
с сердечным приветом,


CEO/General Manager LisAndi Co., Ltd.


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On Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 11:42 AM, Graeme Gellatly <> wrote:
Seriously learn to read things, actually read and understand a whole sentence, not look for hidden meanings and dragons behind every word.  And learn copyright if you are going to keep spamming this list.  It depresses me some of this nonsense passed off as fact.  Of all the CLA's in my life OCA is the cleanest and easiest to understand and the most standard.

Yes the contributor retains his own copyright and full rights as he would have had he not contributed.  If he chooses he can close the source.  If he makes changes then noone will ever see them.  OCA can't do anything about that.

Yes OCA has an IRREVOCABLE license which grants them some rights to make changes e.g. To another OSI approved license.  Yes the author can do nothing about that.

See how that works.  Author can do what he wants, without OCA permission.  OCA can do what they want within limits of CLA without authors permission.  Outside of those limits, requires authors permission.  Magic.

Sure bad things might happen, but that is about trust in an institution, one developed expressly for fostering collaboration and open code, (not Odoo profits) such that collectively the effort is worth greater than the individual.  You clearly do not have this trust, this may be due to a lack of experience that most of us had back before OCA existed, or maybe you are naturally distrustful, or the OCA did something evil to you, I don't know, but that is your issue.  In that case, without trust, it is probably best you don't contribute. 

But to extend your argument, lets say that OCA Board unilaterally relicense to, I don't know, MIT.  If contributors do not like they stop contributing.  Without contributions, there is no reason for OCA to exist, indeed those contributors just start OCA 2.0.  Which is really why there is OCA 1.0 in the first place.  The board are pretty smart people and have done this a long time.  They also have very strong FOSS values.

FWIW doing diffs on others CLA's does not make a copyright or CLA expert.  TBH I am no fan of Apache's and see Odoo SA basically lifted it for theirs. (Actually that could be a breach of copyright, idk, maybe you should mail Odoo and ask).  The OCA CLA was not written specifically by OCA, but rather is a standard CLA designed for FOSS by  If that one word allegedly missing upsets you, then perhaps direct it there for change with a legal opinion.

Your "contribution" you are talking about is not copyrightable or even a contribution so really doesn't even need a CLA.  Given it isn't part of the actual work itself, just the notice. So either do it or stop complaining.

In any case, lets say you maintain it is copyrightable, and because you have some great aversion to the OCA CLA, the very act of putting it on a mailing list means noone else can do it either. 

So really, if you believe the only way to fix it is your way, and you believe changing a legal disclaimer is somehow copyrightable, then you are the only person who can now make those changes and must be done with a CLA.  If however it is not copyrightable, then you don't need to sign the CLA and can propose the changes.  Either way Andi, YOU are the person who needs to do it now if you want it done, no long emails will change anything.

On Mon, Jan 25, 2016 at 4:33 PM, Andreas Becker <> wrote:

On Sun, Jan 24, 2016 at 11:47 PM, Daniel Reis <> wrote:
Code in the OCA is in the OSI license the authors chose to use and it's not OCA's policy to change them.

Have a look to the following passage in the CLA:

Apache CLA Point 2.:
Grant of Copyright License. Subject to the terms and conditions of
this Agreement, You hereby grant to the Foundation and to
recipients of software distributed by the Foundation a perpetual,
worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable
copyright license to reproduce, prepare derivative works of,
publicly display, publicly perform, sublicense, and distribute Your
Contributions and such derivative works.

OCA CLA 2.1b:
You grant to Us a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free, irrevocable license under the Copyright covering the Contribution, with the right to sublicense such rights through multiple tiers of sublicensees, to reproduce, modify, display, perform and distribute the Contribution as part of the Material; 

while OCA CLA 2.1a says:

You retain ownership of the Copyright in Your Contribution and have the same rights to use or license the Contribution which You would have had without entering into the Agreement. 

so what is it now exactly? if nothing changes as without entering into the Agreement? IMHO Point 2.2b is just the opposite of 2.1a as it does allow a change and therefore a contributor does not retain all his rights as he would have without entering into the Agreement.

If it is "it's not OCA's policy to change them" - than why those passages in the CLA and why at all a CLA which hinders developers to contribute because they or their employer or any other legal entity they depend on before signing the CLA does not agree with exactly that CLA.

If OCA is confident in what they are doing and in their code inside those repositories it would be much more homogene than it is right now and everything would be licensed under the same license which is AGPL also in future versions and all kind of contributions.


As i.e. the Apache and the OCA CLA shoes differences they might need to get explain a bit better why they are different.


Irrevocable copyright license - is nothing else than a copyright license

but what is a "irrevocable license under the Copyright covering the Contribution"? It is a license but it is not a copyright license - right? as the Copyright retains with the original author who also will keep all his rights. One of those rights is that he ONLY can decide if he wants to change the license and to what he wants to change it. "same rights" get actually obsolete with what gets said in 2.1b.


derivated Works - is it the same as Material as the word "derivated word gets spared out I guess not. The definition of Materials is not so easy to understand - sorry. So what is Material? Examples which show the difference of derivated works? Does material include also proprietary code as Material? as a derivated work of AGPL/LGPL could not include it?


contribution guideline advising
how to assert the copyright and license.
It would be the enforced for new PRs and for the modules ported from
previous versions.

This is of course a wonderful first step if it would happen and step by step also all other contributions could be adjusted when making other adjustments to the module too.

If you feel you have something to contribute on that area, the best way
to do it is to create a PR proposing changes to this file:

I started already with the basics:

Read the official documentation
Subscribe to the Odoo mailing lists or community mailing lists
Go and read the official documentation
Mailing lists

but most important pert right now is 

You must sign the Computer License Agreement (CLA)

as a first step to be even able to contribute on github

without that CLA the contribution would have been done probably already!


People who have not signed the OCA CLA right now can't simple contribute on github and there is only one way left for them which is the mailinglist ;-)

I am pretty sure that much more people would contribute to OCA if they could be sure that their AGPL licensed code will stay also AGPL in all future releases, which would make it impossible for ODOO S.A. or any other company to integrate or link their code from proprietary "extensions" and parts.

If now OCA would ensure that their code would never be changed to any other - perhaps more permissive OSI license so that the specific code can also be used in proprietary software, than there won't be any need actually for a CLA as the AGPL license ensures this already and it would leave even all 4 Freedoms if an author intends to change his module in another version to something else as the AGPL part will always be AGPL and further developments could simply start at any time from there.


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