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Questions tagged [contributor-agreements]

For questions about the legal documents covering contributions from outside a project's core team.

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Is it possible for the .NET open source code to be "rugpulled", or relicensed?

Attempting to read the Contribution License Agreement (source) for the .NET Foundation code. This includes the C#/VB.NET Roslyn compiler, the .NET CLR, and other runtimes. I am a fervent user of these ...
austanss's user avatar
  • 143
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Implicit licensing when contributing to an open source project

Imagine I fork a MIT licensed project on GitHub, make some changes and submit a Pull Request (PR). I own the copyright of my changes. The PR is accepted. A few years later, someone uses the software ...
lvella's user avatar
  • 331
3 votes
1 answer
138 views

License like LGPL-3.0, but owner can sell source to 3rd party freely and contributors can't say no or revoke code

TL;DR: Basically "Hey, look, I felt your soft A lacked this so I made this Soft B. You can buy it and add it or do whatever you want with it but don't be a dick and give credit where it's due. ...
Tooster's user avatar
  • 133
4 votes
1 answer
439 views

Is a CLA necessary?

PDF4QT is released under LGPL3+. If you open a PR, the maintainer asks you to sign a CLA. Is this necessary? My code must be released under LGPL3+ as well, otherwise I'll fail to fulfill the license ...
robertspierre's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
65 views

Could a CLA be avoided by simply specifying in the license a particular owner who may grant closed source use? [duplicate]

One of the main purposes of a CLA (contributor license agreement), as I understand it, is to allow some owner of the software to have full rights to relicense the code if desired. This is rather ...
rtpax's user avatar
  • 121
3 votes
1 answer
124 views

License to accept contributions without losing the rights on the application

English is not my native language so all the subtleties of licensing law are lost on me. I can't find what I'm looking for. The initial problem: I have created an association and its website which ...
Shäninjah's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
94 views

How to open source a project developed at several companies by a single author

I've been the only author (or at least the author of 99.9% of code) on a project that initially started as a masters research project at a research organisation. After completing my studies I was ...
RedM's user avatar
  • 111
2 votes
2 answers
314 views

How to require contributor to agree BEFORE creating a pull request?

Does anyone have a solution to the problem below? Yes, I can reject at review time, but I'd rather have that taken care of prior to reviewing the PR. Do we know if github will support yml for pull ...
Frugal Guy's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
66 views

Does a BSD-3 repository own Pull Requests?

I submit a large PR to repository X. Later, I close the PR and make my own repository that uses some of X's code, and give X due attribution in the NOTICE file and function docstrings. At time of ...
OverLordGoldDragon's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
218 views

AGPL, with Apache-2.0 option for non-commercial use

I want to license a project that allows anyone to license it under AGPL-3.0, but with the option to license it under Apache-2.0 for non-commercial use only. Are there any hidden pitfalls I may have ...
user22745's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
129 views

How can I handle minors as contributors?

Ok, firstly, to clarify when I say minor, I mean someone under the age of majority in the US. In this case his father reached out to me regarding a sort of mentor/apprenticeship, so I know I have his ...
xenoterracide's user avatar
22 votes
1 answer
7k views

How to avoid being AWSed?

Elastic built the tool, AWS redistributed it and is dominating the market. Elastic is probably going to struggle and slowly die because they are bad at business. However, they built a great tool and ...
Magus's user avatar
  • 323
0 votes
1 answer
166 views

Can a CLA be agreed to implicitly, like a license?

For license on software, users who download the software must abide by the license, usually in something like a LICENSE file. I don't need to ask them to fax me a signed document or anything. For CLAs,...
Greg Schmit's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
174 views

Can a LGPL project use contributed code after the original contributor withdrew it and was banned from the project?

"Project A" is released under LGPL ver 2.1 or, at user's discretion, above. This project is part of a bigger platform. "Contributor A" submitted a highly-popular merge request to ...
robertspierre's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
165 views

Copyright Transfer by License?

I am conflicted about the licensing for one of my projects. My goals for the license are very similar to the GPL, with one notable exception. I want to remain the sole copyright owner - to keep ...
Mikdore's user avatar
  • 151
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Doesn't GPL with CLA defeat the point?

I see that a lot of proprietary projects which make their source available operate with dual licensing model, with the open source version being licensed under GPL v3 and proprietary product being, ...
Peeyush Kushwaha's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
214 views

Do software patches ever inherit the license of the patched project?

This is a follow up question to an earlier question which included a misunderstanding about the nature of the MIT/X license, and has been clarified there. Consider the software project dwm by Suckless....
preferred_anon's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
821 views

How are software patches licensed?

Consider the software project dwm by Suckless. The project is clearly licensed under the MIT/X Consortium License, which includes the clause The above copyright notice and this permission notice ...
preferred_anon's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
193 views

Can code licensed under AGPL also be (re)licensed under LGPL by its contributor?

I have a puzzling question: Somebody contributed to a AGPL licensed project (he is not the owner). Now this code could also be applied to a different project licensed under LGPL. Could the author of ...
Lonzak's user avatar
  • 347
4 votes
2 answers
307 views

Is copyright of a contribution to a BSD 2-clause project automatically assigned to the project's copyright owner?

The 2-clause BSD licence includes the clause: Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer. What implications does this ...
Ian Hinder's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is "Signed-off-by" really needed for a GitHub hosted project?

Suppose my GitHub project requires DCO. In case of DCO, for a "proof" of origin it's usually enough to add a commit message that includes Signed-off-by line. But in case of GitHub it's very ...
Amir Gonnen's user avatar
18 votes
6 answers
3k views

Contributing as a company

At my employer we use open source software in our products. Eventually it came to the point that someone in the company fixed an issue in an oss library (a performance thing, not a big deal but ...
wollud1969's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
634 views

Entering into a Contributor License Agreement on behalf of a non-registered open-source organisation

I own a GitHub organization in which I licensed the projects under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International Public License to which I expect contributions from other contributors. ...
Siddharth Venu's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
156 views

Question about the word "irrevocable" in a Contributor License Agreement

In the CLA of the Linux Foundation, under section 2 there was the following: ... You hereby grant to the Foundation and to recipients of software distributed by the Foundation a perpetua l, ...
Tom Klino's user avatar
  • 121
4 votes
1 answer
181 views

Is it appropriate to have an optional Contributor License Agreement?

I'm a developer who makes open-source software, typically libraries and websites. My libraries are under the Apache 2.0 license, while websites / applications are under the GPL/AGPL 3 license. I've ...
Seth Falco's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is it possible for Linux developers to retroactively "pull their code" from Linux?

Linux now has a Code of Conduct. In the resulting backlash some people have claimed that developers can "flip a kill switch" or "pull their code" from Linux. They seem to mean that developers can ...
Reinstate Monica's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
427 views

Contributor license agreement between individuals not an entity?

I have a relatively young private GitHub repo with 5-6 people working on it together. My understanding of a contributor agreement is that I can use this to state that: Users have access to the ...
Tiago's user avatar
  • 143
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

CLA as an exception to the GPL

If it is true that GPL exceptions can be made to apply to some individuals and not others, could the author of an open source program avoid the hassle of asking contributors to sign a Contributor ...
HullCityFan852's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
280 views

How accept contributions from people who don't know what a Pull Request is?

Someone sent me [ a translation to a new language ] of the open source software I'm developing. He attached the translation messages file to a private message in the discussion forum I've setup for ...
KajMagnus's user avatar
  • 139
4 votes
1 answer
221 views

Does the DCO require a cryptographic signature?

The Developer Certificate of Origin mentions a signature: I understand and agree that this project and the contribution are public and that a record of the contribution (including all personal ...
lofidevops's user avatar
  • 1,990
0 votes
2 answers
160 views

How strictly should I enforce DCO-signing for complete legal protection?

The Developer Certificate of Origin protects the codebase from legal threat by requiring that each commit is signed, indicating that the contributor is authorised to make and license the commit (for ...
lofidevops's user avatar
  • 1,990
0 votes
3 answers
262 views

Must I retro-actively DCO-sign my sole author commits for a work project?

I am currently the sole author of a codebase, created for my employer, released under AGPL 3 or later. Moving forward, I want to require that contributions are signed, following the Developer ...
lofidevops's user avatar
  • 1,990
3 votes
1 answer
65 views

How can I anticipate a smooth transition to CC BY 5.0?

Let's say I create a CC BY 4.0 work today, and others contribute to it under the same license. Some individual elements will have multiple authors, some will have single authors. Some might include CC ...
lofidevops's user avatar
  • 1,990
1 vote
1 answer
61 views

How do I require users to license future submissions on sign-up?

Users will submit content to my website. I want them to license that content under CC BY 4.0 when they do, otherwise they should not submit it. Thus, all user-submitted content will be released under ...
lofidevops's user avatar
  • 1,990
4 votes
2 answers
602 views

What additional benefits does the DCO provide?

If my project has a lax license (like Expat/MIT), I can enforce "inbound=outbound" by requiring that contributors sign off their commits in order to acknowledge the Developer Certificate of Origin. I'...
lofidevops's user avatar
  • 1,990
5 votes
1 answer
635 views

Moving project from AGPL to Apache v2 / MIT license

The question in a nutshell Hi! Together with a team of brilliant engineers we've been building a software project (http://luna-lang.org) for the last two years and now we want to release everything ...
Wojciech Danilo's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can I change the copyright license, with this text in the CLA?

If I include this in the Contributor License Agreement (CLA) for an open source project I'm doing: (the following is from Apache's individual CLA) Grant of Copyright License. Subject to the terms ...
KajMagnus's user avatar
  • 139
9 votes
1 answer
470 views

Copyright assignments in Germany

When contributing to some of their projects, the FSF requires you to assign the copyright to your work to the FSF. As I'm German, I'm interested in whether this is compatible with German law. German ...
UTF-8's user avatar
  • 193
3 votes
1 answer
97 views

Does a Contributor License Agreement prevent future employment with that company?

While job searching I thought it'd be nice to get a leg up on the hiring process for this particular company by contributing to the their open source projects. Signing a CLA makes sense, however I ...
jtrdev's user avatar
  • 141
14 votes
1 answer
1k views

Projects which require copyright assignment from contributors?

I read the following in ØMQ - The Guide (in Chapter 6, in the section Licensing and Ownership): All patches are owned by their authors. There SHALL NOT be any copyright assignment process. Here we ...
ChrisW's user avatar
  • 339
13 votes
1 answer
448 views

Can I resubmit someone else's pull request if he does not sign CLA?

Someone helped with progress upstream at an open source project I really rely on. He basically did what I was not capable of and now I am waiting for his pull request to be merged and included in ...
q9f's user avatar
  • 243
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Benefits of a CLA when using Apache 2.0 License

I understand that there are benefits to CLA for some licenses (as well as drawbacks and tradeoffs), however the Apache 2.0 License already has section 5 stating the following: Submission of ...
Samuel Horwitz's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
357 views

Does inbound=outbound apply to GPL-family without a CLA?

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. Does this ...
lofidevops's user avatar
  • 1,990
5 votes
1 answer
605 views

Does inbound=outbound apply to Apache 2.0 without a CLA?

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. Does this ...
lofidevops's user avatar
  • 1,990
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

What does "and contributors" in the copyright byline imply?

I have read that a simple way to manage contributions was to add "and contributors" to the copyright byline: Foo project Copyright 2017 J. Hacker and contributors Shared under the Libre ...
lofidevops's user avatar
  • 1,990
3 votes
1 answer
335 views

Is there a standard way to declare inbound=outbound?

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'...
lofidevops's user avatar
  • 1,990
2 votes
0 answers
454 views

Does a CLA have to contain the complete name and mailing address of the person that signs it? Isn't having the contributor's GitHub username enough?

https://www.clahub.com/pages/why_cla (mirror) claims that: A CLA should also contain personal information about the person that signs it, such as a complete name and mailing address. Is it true ...
Franck Dernoncourt's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
4k views

How to complete CLA on GitHub

I have submitted a pull request on GitHub and the organization asked me to sign the CLA before they can merge the pull request, who currently has the red label 'cla-required'. How can I do this? ...
Adrien's user avatar
  • 217
20 votes
5 answers
3k views

How to prevent contributors from claiming copyright on my LGPL-released software?

I have published the first version of my software on my company's git repo and some other developers outside of our company have shown interest in contributing to our work. We are releasing our ...
TonySalimi's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
18k views

How to apply MIT license in the GitHub repo for fully free project?

I have a public repository for an open source project on GitHub. It's main goal is to make this code available to anybody (including myself) who may what to use it, for free, for all the time, with ...
Pavel K's user avatar
  • 223