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38 votes
Accepted

How to avoid being AWSed?

There are many reasons why people and companies are involved with open source. Often, these conflicts occur because a business running a project is using a license written by people with totally ...
amon's user avatar
  • 39k
17 votes

Contributing as a company

There are two issues here: Managing copyright and licensing of the company's contributions in a legally rigorous way, including corporate agreement to the project's CLA, if any. The use of a single ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.3k
17 votes

Implicit licensing when contributing to an open source project

In my understanding, my claims are completely baseless, because the moment I submitted the PR, I implicitly licensed my changes under MIT, because that is the license of the project. Is this the ...
Bart van Ingen Schenau's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

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

This is a legitimate issue that's come up various times in the past on various open source projects. The way it's typically handled is by not accepting external contributions into your repository ...
Mason Wheeler's user avatar
14 votes

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

We have run into this problem in libpng. We addressed it by putting any contributions that insist on keeping their own copyright, or are under a different open source license, into a "contrib" ...
Glenn Randers-Pehrson's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

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

This depends in part on what the CLA requires, but it may be possible. Do you have the ability to reuse the submission at all? In general, it's understood that contributions to an open source ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.3k
13 votes

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

Update, based on new Terms of Service: If a GitHub repository specifies a license, that's the default license for contributions. Here's Section D.6 from GitHub's current Terms of Service: 6. ...
jkdev's user avatar
  • 395
12 votes
Accepted

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

That's not true that a public domain dedication won't protect you, for instance the Unlicense is a public domain dedication but still includes a limitation of warranty. In GitHub's choosealicense.com ...
Zimm i48's user avatar
  • 5,597
11 votes
Accepted

Projects which require copyright assignment from contributors?

Many projects do this, typically with the help of a CLA (Contributor License Agreement). Possible reasons for doing this (there might be more): The project owner can change the license without ...
unor's user avatar
  • 5,670
11 votes

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

No. Just no. Firstly, this has nothing to do with a CoC. If it was possible for developers to de-license code after release last month, then it's possible this month; if it wasn't possible last ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 49.5k
11 votes

Doesn't GPL with CLA defeat the point?

(a) if I am correct about GPL's original "motivation" No you are not correct about the motivation for creating the GPL. To quote Richard Stallman, the father of the GPL license: My work on ...
Bart van Ingen Schenau's user avatar
10 votes

Implicit licensing when contributing to an open source project

I rather thought this would be a duplicate question, but I can't currently find anything that fits exactly. Outbound=inbound is a traditional custom and practice in the free-software community, but it'...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 49.5k
9 votes
Accepted

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

Meanwhile the Software Freedom Conservancy published a statement which explains it quite well https://sfconservancy.org/news/2018/sep/26/GPLv2-irrevocability/ The answer is: no. As a summary: By ...
Björn Schießle's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

How to complete CLA on GitHub

You need to ask the maintainers of the project you want to contribute to what exactly they expect from you. Different organizations have different standards regarding what they consider a legally ...
Philipp's user avatar
  • 12k
8 votes
Accepted

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

Of course not. A CLA says (paraphrased) "code I write belongs to you". Employment contracts say (either explicitly or implicitly) "code I write belongs to you". No problem there. (What might be a ...
Philip Kendall's user avatar
8 votes

Contributing as a company

The author of a work and the copyright holder of the work don't need to be the same entity. An example of this is music - a song is written by an artist, but the copyright on it may be held by a ...
D. SM's user avatar
  • 1,896
8 votes
Accepted

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

The signed-off line does not indicate the author but who authorized the commit to enter the project's repository. It has primarily nothing to do with who committed or pushed the commit. Commonly it's ...
planetmaker's user avatar
  • 11.2k
7 votes
Accepted

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

TL;DR: A copyright notice is just the list of the copyright owners. It does not give magic licensing powers. The “… and contributors” is a truism: each contributor keeps their copyright unless they ...
amon's user avatar
  • 39k
7 votes
Accepted

What additional benefits does the DCO provide?

"inbound=outbound" might not require any extra procedures. If a someone contributes to a project that is clearly under some license, you can assume in good faith that they have the right to publish ...
amon's user avatar
  • 39k
7 votes
Accepted

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

When you write I own a GitHub organization in which I licensed the projects you are mistaken. In most legal systems there is more to creating a body with legal personhood, to which licences can ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 49.5k
7 votes
Accepted

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

There doesn't seem to be a copyright violation here. The code was pretty clearly released under the LGPL, and open source licenses are (almost certainly) irrevocable; it doesn't matter that the patch ...
Philip Kendall's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

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

In other words: What should I point out in my CLA? Do I need any other contract with the contributor? What are the typical pitfalls to watch out for? In order to offer both licenses, you would need ...
Philippe Ombredanne's user avatar
6 votes

Is a CLA only useful for copyleft licensed?

This is best answered by people who distribute a software under MIT license and require their contributors to sign a CLA. For instance, Github Inc. distributes linguist under MIT but still requires ...
Zimm i48's user avatar
  • 5,597
6 votes
Accepted

Moving project from AGPL to Apache v2 / MIT license

You've clarified that you're worried about people incorporating the code of your compiler into closed-source web-accessible products before you're ready (hence AGPL for now) but that at some future ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 49.5k
6 votes

License to accept contributions without losing the rights on the application

What you are looking for, is a copyleft license. It simply means that source code of modifications to a copyleft licensed software by a licensee, must be made available to users and recipients of the ...
ruben2020's user avatar
  • 2,333
6 votes

Is a CLA necessary?

A CLA is indeed not necessary for PDF4QT to use your contribution under the terms of the LGPL. The main purposes of this CLA are twofold: to potentially use the contribution under terms other than ...
apsillers's user avatar
  • 36.3k
6 votes
Accepted

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

I'm wondering if this CLA allows the .NET Foundation, and/or Microsoft, to relicense the code under a non-open-source license The copyright licence in the CLA, s4(1), says that You grant .NET ...
MadHatter's user avatar
  • 49.5k
5 votes
Accepted

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

When making changes to another repo (you've forked) do you release your changes under the license...of that repo? You aren't required to unless your changes fall within the domain of the license's ...
EMBLEM's user avatar
  • 2,528
5 votes
Accepted

Copyright assignments in Germany

The article "Drafting Options for Contributor Agreements for Free and Open Source Software: Assignment, (Non)Exclusive Licence and Legal Consequences. A Comparative Analysis of German and US Law" ...
Philippe Ombredanne's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Benefits of a CLA when using Apache 2.0 License

First of all, you don't need a CLA. The general assumption when someone contributes to an open source project is that they accept to license their contribution under the license of the project. The ...
Zimm i48's user avatar
  • 5,597

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