If a user contributes under pseudonym or even anonymously, how does this affect CLAs? Does it help anything if he signs a CLA with that pseudonym?

  • Do all your contributions require a digital signature?
    – MadHatter
    Commented May 12, 2016 at 5:25
  • a CLA is in most cases a "wet" agreement requiring an explicit consent of a person or org. How could such an agreement by anonymous? Commented May 12, 2016 at 5:27
  • 4
    My advice is to avoid CLAs. They are a barrier to contribution. They are simpler ways: The Linux DCO does not require a signature and is neat and well tested at scale: developercertificate.org Or licenses such as Apache 2.0 include a CLA. CLA and custom CLA s**ck IMHO Commented May 12, 2016 at 5:45
  • 3
    Requiring all contributions to be signed deals fairly well with pseudonymous contributors: you can prove the digitally-signed CLA came from the same person who contributed the content that CLA covers. Anonymous contributions are harder to deal with, and a project that requires a strong CLA will likely not allow them.
    – MadHatter
    Commented May 12, 2016 at 5:45
  • 1
    See also these articles on why CLA s**ck: ebb.org/bkuhn/blog/2014/06/09/do-not-need-cla.html or why they may ok at times: julien.ponge.org/blog/… (and the mention of Apache as a license with a CLA baked in) Commented May 12, 2016 at 5:51

1 Answer 1


For books: publishing as anonymous is permitted, but the editor needs to know the author real name, or when needed, the author is required to proof his authorship.

I interpret that a CLA is some kind of agreements to the "editor", so I think you should disclose your real name.

Note: a truly anonymous contributor cannot enforce his own rights (of copyright), so as alternative, you can publish the work in public domain, which usually avoids CLA requirements.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.