[Python-Dev] Why does the Contributor Agreement need my address?

Richard Damon Richard at Damon-Family.org
Sun Sep 9 20:33:02 EDT 2018

On 9/9/18 3:57 PM, Antoine Pitrou wrote:
> On Sun, 9 Sep 2018 15:15:36 -0400
> Terry Reedy <tjreedy at udel.edu> wrote:
>> On 9/9/2018 1:49 PM, Antoine Pitrou wrote:
>>> On Sat, 8 Sep 2018 23:11:27 -0400
>>> "Joseph C. Sible" <josephcsible at gmail.com> wrote:  
>>>> I'm used to signing CLA's that require nothing beyond a name and a check
>>>> box. When I went to sign the PSF Contributor Agreement so I can submit a PR
>>>> for CPython, I was surprised to see that it wants my address. Why does the
>>>> Python Software Foundation need this, especially when nobody else does?  
>> I presume others are correct that an address helps as an identifier. 
> It probably does, though it's hardly perfect.  Mostly it can serve as a
> contact point, but these days an e-mail address might be more durable
> than a postal address (and it's probably a much better identifier too).
A Name + Address is a practically perfect identifier, as most people
have a specific legal address of residence and at that address it is
very unlikely two people have identical legal names. It is this legal
address and legal name that people should be using for these sorts of
legal documents. Government tend to have a vested interest in keeping
track of legal addresses as this tends to have implications in things
like taxes, so piggy backing on this identification can help with
identification for other purposes.

There also tends to be official government documents that can track back
your 'official' address over time, so confirming that you are the Joe
Smith from 15 Main ST, Anytown USA, is possible. Try to think how you
could legally prove you were or were not the owner of
joe.smith at example.com 10 years ago, where example.com is some major free
email providers.

Richard Damon

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