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Take this with as big a handful of salt as you feel it deserves given my non-CPAN author status. It's just the thought that went through my mind.
How about making it possible to move individual cpan modules into a "community branched state".
That is, if say three or more users register themeselves as interest parties to a given module, and there is a high degree of consensus amongst those registered for the application of a patch that the author has either refused or failed to respond to, then the module gets forked on cpan into a community maintained subgroup, with a pointer from the author's version to the community maintained version.
The registered interested parties take responsibility for approving and supplying patches.
If the author of the package decides to merge the versions back together, the community maintained version gets expunged.
If the author chooses to relinguish or co-own with one or more of the interested parties, then the author version gets expunged.
Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
Lingua non convalesco, consenesco et abolesco. -- Rule 1 has a caveat! -- Who broke the cabal?
"Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.