Questions tagged [contributor-agreements]

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

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21
votes
3answers
592 views

What are the advantages of adding a Contributor License Agreement to a project?

Some projects have a Contributor License Agreement (as example the CLA of the Apache foundation). What is it for? What are the consequences when I don't have one?
20
votes
1answer
835 views

What is the difference between a CLA and a CTA?

I've seen that some projects require a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) and some require a Copyright Transfer Agreement (CTA). Some examples of places using a CLA: Django Google jQuery Some ...
16
votes
5answers
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 ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

When folks send me pull-requests on GitHub, what are their copyright/licensing terms by default?

Say I'm maintaining a GPLv3 project on GitHub with a LICENSE file, code headers and all. Now, a few folks made some code enhancements and sent me a pull-request. Does that automatically mean that they ...
14
votes
1answer
210 views

Do I lose any rights with Canonical's Harmony CLA?

According to this wikipedia page: As of August 2011, Canonical is requesting contributions be licenced under a Harmony Contribution Licence Agreement, rather than the copyright being assigned to ...
14
votes
2answers
256 views

Must contributor agreements be physically signed?

I've been developing an API internally with a few friends, and hope to expand it and make it open to the broader public. I've highlighted a lot of background in this question, but to recap, it's a ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

Common practice on GitHub and license/copyright

I have been searching the web for quite some time now, but the plethora of opinions/comments/articles about licensing questions make it difficult to verify how trustworthy the various sources are. ...
14
votes
3answers
231 views

Are there reusable CLAs?

Many FOSS projects require Contributor License Agreements (CLA) for all contributors. Even though we have many common FOSS software licenses, it seems that these projects have to create their own CLAs....
13
votes
3answers
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 ...
12
votes
1answer
179 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
384 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. ...
11
votes
2answers
645 views

How to accept contributions for AGPL / proprietary dual-licensed projects?

Supposed I have written a software that I offer using a dual-license model, using AGPLv3 as OSS license, and a proprietary one as commercial (closed) license. Now, let's assume somebody wants to ...
9
votes
3answers
269 views

How can I encourage users to work on other user's feature requests?

As manager of several free software projects, I am familiar with feature requests that users of my project submit to its public issue queue. Many of the suggestions are good, but having limited ...
9
votes
1answer
291 views

Is a CLA only useful for copyleft licensed?

Is it useful to have a CLA when you e.g. use an MIT license for your project? I am just asking this, because when you use the MIT license you are already granted to sublicense it, so is a CLA ...
9
votes
1answer
108 views

What can you do if you can't track down all old contributors to sign a CLA?

Many FOSS projects start out without a Contributor License Agreement (CLA). Many, if they become large and successful, will want to transition to system based on CLAs. But what about if they can't ...
8
votes
2answers
201 views

Does an employee have the right to use a CTA?

Most people who work in software development have signed an Intellectual Property Rights Assignment notice whenever they start a new job. The purpose of these assignments is to ensure the employer ...
8
votes
1answer
161 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
57 views

How does the optional Fiduciary Licence Agreement for KDE allow it to stay free/libre software?

According to this wikipedia page, KDE uses Free Software Foundation Europe's Fiduciary Licence Agreement, which assigns the copyright to KDE e.V. The following quote confused me: However, it is ...
6
votes
1answer
75 views

What happens when a corporate sponsor goes bust?

Many of the larger open source projects receive serious backing from one or more Corporate sponsors. Depending on CLA's and the license chosen, if contributions were made by engineers during their ...
6
votes
2answers
689 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
1k 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? ...
6
votes
1answer
546 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
155 views

How does contributing to a FLOSS project work from a legal perspective?

Some points I know: Contributors own copyright over their contributions, which means the author (= the owner of the repo and original author) cannot re-license the code (= change the license of the ...
5
votes
1answer
227 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
370 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
66 views

Are there standard templates or clauses to exempt contributed code from rights assignment?

A customer project built on an FLOSS platform or framework (a CMS like Drupal for instance) may require some fixes to the underlying platform if it is pushing the limits or is being delivered on a ...
4
votes
1answer
169 views

Contributor License Agreements and anonymous/pseudonymous contributors

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?
4
votes
1answer
182 views

Can Mozilla Public License be used as a contributor license agreement?

MPL reads (emphasis mine): 1.7. “Larger Work” means a work that combines Covered Software with other material, in a separate file or files, that is not Covered Software. 3.3. Distribution ...
4
votes
1answer
63 views

Example of open source project that has had legal problems with contributors claiming any kind of right over their contribution?

I'm doing some research about Contributor Licensing Agreements (CLAs) and I was wondering if they are not an overkill. I will probably end up using them in the project I work with because I prefer to ...
4
votes
0answers
51 views

Difference between Copyright License (CLA) Copyright Assignment (CAA) [duplicate]

I have just wrote a program and would like to release it dual-license (probably AGPL and proprietary, but I also would like to retain the ability to release it under other licenses in the future). I ...
3
votes
1answer
62 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
181 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'...
3
votes
1answer
39 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
52 views

What are “contributor agreements”? Are they similar to open source licenses?

If I release my software under certain Contributor Agreements, can I give the software the same effect as if I released it under an Open source license? My business partner and I are unsure which to ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Is it appropriate to have an optional Copyright License Agreement?

I'm a developer that's making open-source projects, this ranges from little Java libraries to my personal websites. In the future, I'm hoping this will include games. Generally my libraries are under ...
2
votes
1answer
151 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
372 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
187 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
84 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'...
1
vote
1answer
55 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, ...
1
vote
2answers
76 views

Handling contributions in an opensource project

There is an opensource project that I started some years ago and I still maintain it. This project is licensed under the BSD (3 clause) license and at the moment I am the sole copyright holder and ...
1
vote
1answer
49 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
111 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
152 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
76 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
100 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
49 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 ...