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Re: Why not contribute? (to GCC)


> I can say from my 15 years of experience working here that in general
> Stanford *hates* signing legal documents.  This is true even of
> procurement contracts.  Stanford negotiates legalities very aggressively,
> negotiates vendor contracts very aggressively, and does not generally sign
> things unless the university has some compelling reason to do so.  This
> is, from the university perspective, an obviously correct legal position
> since it keeps the university out of trouble from documents that they
> didn't need to sign.
> 
> In order to get a disclaimer signed, the last time I investigated this, I
> would need to go through the Office of Technology Licensing because the
> central IT staff are probably not people with sufficient authority to sign
> such a document on behalf of the university.  All university intellectual
> property is handled by the OTL.  And the entire purpose of the OTL is
> serve as steward of university property and hence to handle the
> university's intellectual property to the university's advantage (mostly
> around the income that the university derives from licensing of its patent
> portfolio; we hold some patents that came out of the Human Genome Project
> work, for example).  They don't have much of an incentive to sign such a
> document, and their first concern is going to be how much it might cost
> the university to do so.

This is, unfortunately, true for most universities.  The only reason
NYU assigned GNAT to the FSF was because the contract with the Air
Force REQUIRED them to do so.  This is probably the best way to get
these to happen.


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