I guess a few people remember that Clutter was proposed for inclusion one year ago. Most of the GNOME community loves it, so there was no real question about accepting it. Except that it required copyright assignment, and the release team didn't really know how to handle this. So we contacted the Foundation Board to see what should be done. And the Board did two things: talk to Intel about it, and work on a more general solution.

First, we talked to Intel to understand if the copyright assignment for Clutter was really needed, or if it could be removed in the future. As this is a discussion involving some legal magic, it obviously took some time. But Emmanuele kept pushing this internally to get a resolution, and in June, it was announced that everybody could contribute to Clutter without signing anything :-) Thanks Intel! It's my guess that this happened not just thanks to GNOME, but I don't have any details on that...

Still, we wanted to have some general guidelines to know how to proceed in case this happens again in the future. The Board discussed this topic with the Advisory Board in December, and after the discussion, we felt that Bradley and Michael had a position that reflected best what would be the position of the community. So we asked them to work on the topic. They wrote some blog entries about the topic, and drafted a first document providing a policy for copyright assignments in GNOME. This got discussed again with the Advisory Board, and finetuned. The whole process took quite some time — and Bradley talked about it during a lightning talk at GUADEC.

As a result, we got two documents that were published in July on the wiki, but I actually only really announced them now. You can read the policy and the additional document, but here's the short version for the lazy ones (quoting my mail):

The inclusion of a new module in GNOME that requires copyright assignment has to be explicitly approved on a case-by-case basis by both the Release Team and the GNOME Foundation Board. The decision will be made based on criteria explained in the policy as well as in this additional document.

It was a great experience to work with Bradley and Michael on this, especially as I was doing nothing and they did all the hard work :-) So I'm glad this is finally out, and even though I personally hope we won't have to look at copyright assignments in the future, at least, now, we will know what to do if the original issue occurs again.