Understanding Project Harmony

I’ve been highly critical1 of corporate copyright assignment policies, especially those that effect me personally. Canonical, one of those I’ve complained about, has been working to try and standardise the wording and formation of the contracts that you have to sign in order to assign copyright over.

This is called Project Harmony and it kicked off today an alpha release, which we can get involved with and try and fix and bug report.

To be fair to the process (and in hope that it can fix Canonical’s current utterly ghastly wording) I’ve put together a diagram so you can understand what the options are in the new alpha contract:

What is interesting is that while diagramming2 , I could see the difference between the FSF’s3 assignment agreement (2.1 > iv) and Canonical current agreement (2.2 > v) and they do show up in stark contrast.

What are your thoughts on this project? Will it improve the situation with contributing to Canonical’s Unity, Mozilla’s Firefox or even the FSF’s Gnu project?

1I’ve likened it to corporate theft, misappropriation of volunteer work and powerful coercion from the project maintainers project’s coherence. Similar to an optional serfdom.
2This isn’t a legal diagram, just an illustration to aid comprehension. I am not a lawyer, please check with your legal council on these matters.
3Interestingly I’ve just signed two FSF copyright assignment forms, hopefully I’ll be able to blog about what I’ve been up to with them soon.