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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 supports Monica May 12 '16 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? – Philippe Ombredanne May 12 '16 at 5:27
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    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 – Philippe Ombredanne May 12 '16 at 5:45
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    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 supports Monica May 12 '16 at 5:45
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    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) – Philippe Ombredanne May 12 '16 at 5:51
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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.

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