Re: Real Name Policy for CNCF

Gareth Rushgrove

Worth noting the policy doesn't define "real name".

This could be implied to mean full legal name (not a lawyer, but I
think that's the common usage term in law). Or you could imply it to
mean "the name literally everyone calls me in the real world". Those
two names for lots of people could be different.

That I think makes it clearer how this can be exclusionary and open to
being weaponised against marginalised folks.


On Mon, 4 Jul 2022 at 07:26, Frederick Kautz <frederick@...> wrote:

This policy is going to exclude a lot of people who are at risk from harassment. A significant number of people use pseudonyms today. We should consider revising this policy. Perhaps there is a path where we can allow people to register their pseudonym to help balance privacy and legal protection of the projects.

On Sun, Jul 3, 2022 at 2:23 PM Christoph Blecker <cblecker@...> wrote:

This isn't so much a question, as it is a request for the CNCF/TOC to review and possibly reverse this policy. While I and many others choose to use their legal name when contributing to projects, there are many reasons why someone might choose to use a pseudonym while contributing. Examples of some of those reasons and the harm that a "real names" policy can create are discussed in the EFF's open letter to Facebook, when Facebook introduced their real name policy in 2015 [1].

Pseudonyms are also used regularly when publishing copyrighted works. When used in the book publishing industry, they are commonly known as "pen names". The U.S. Copyright Office [2] (where the CNCF is based) and the Canadian Intellectual Property Office [3] (where I am personally based) both affirm that use of a pseudonym is permitted.

I'm sure there are others who have more expertise in the subject who could provide more reasons and context, but I personally feel like this is an unnecessary barrier to contribution and may exclude talented contributors from our projects.

Christoph Blecker


On Sat, Jul 2, 2022 at 3:04 PM Davanum Srinivas <davanum@...> wrote:

Hi Folks,

There was a query from one of the projects about Pseudonyms for DCO and CLA. The CNCF staff has clarified the current policy:

If you have any questions related to this policy, please chime in.


Davanum Srinivas ::
Gareth Rushgrove

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