The traditional expectation for contributions to a free software project are "inbound=outbound" [1] [2]. That is, if the project is under license X, contributions are made under license X.

However, I'd like to make a simple statement about this in my README, just for clarity. I don't want to say "inbound=outbound" because that phrase is opaque without a lot of prior knowledge. Is there a well-established / recognised phrase for stating this?

(I'm looking for a standardised phrase for a human reader, not a legal solution which might be license dependant [3] [4] [5].)

  • Section 5 of Apache 2.0 says this; perhaps you could modify it for your README? "Unless You explicitly state otherwise, any Contribution intentionally submitted for inclusion in the Work by You to the Licensor shall be under the terms and conditions of this License, without any additional terms or conditions." (Obviously, say the actual license you're using, not "this license")
    – apsillers
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 19:39
  • 1
    @apsillers you should make this an answer! Commented May 24, 2017 at 6:59

1 Answer 1


I have not found an already-established phrase used to express this. I'm going with:

Additional contributions under the same terms are welcome.

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