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Contribution Agreement Open Source

However, open source is an unusual circumstance, as the author expects others to use, modify, and share the work. However, since the legal standard remains exclusive copyright, you need a license that explicitly states these rights. ownCloud is and will be open source and everyone is invited to participate in the project. With over 1300 active contributors worldwide, ownCloud is one of the largest open source PHP projects. Join the community today and start hacking! Among the projects for which contributors must sign this agreement are:[35] The CLA may also contain certain exclusions of contributor liability. For example, the CLA may indicate that the contributor provides the contribution “as intended”, without explicit or implied warranties with respect to title, non-infringement, market interoperability and/or fitness for a particular purpose. The CLA may refuse any express or implied warranty that would oblige the contributor to provide ongoing technical assistance to the contribution. Specifically, I am not aware of any case where the use of a CLA would have prevented a charge of copyright or patent infringement against an inbound=outbound project that is not due to an alleged open source license infringement. Patent risk, in particular, is often cited by CLA supporters when pointing to the risk of unauthorized contributions, but patent licenses in Apache-style CLAs are particularly narrow.

In addition, companies` contributions to an open source project are typically small, small (and therefore easily replaceable), and are likely discarded over time. Many ASAs require that the contribution become the exclusive property of the project. Since our product is made up of a lot of small parts, I could easily see where a developer would be reluctant to bring, for example, a particular piece of surveillance code if they could never use it elsewhere. This agreement allows the author to preserve the copyright while transferring the copyright to the project. Patents: Is your company applying for a patent that would make your project public? Unfortunately, you may be asked to wait (or maybe the company will reconsider the wisdom of the app). If you expect contributions to your project from employees of companies with large patent portfolios, your legal team may want to use a license with a license with an explicit contributor patent (such as Apache 2.0 or GPLv3) or an additional contributor agreement (see above). It`s complicated. Determining license compatibility and compliance and who owns the copyright can quickly become complicated and confusing. Switching to a new, but compatible, license for new versions and contributions differs from the new license of all existing contributions. Put your legal team in the first step of indicating the desire to change licenses. Even if you have or can get permission from your project`s copyright holders to change a license, you should consider the impact of the change on other users and contributors to your project. Imagine a license change as a “governance event” for your project, which goes pretty well with clear communication and guidance with your project`s stakeholders.

All the more reason to choose and use a license adapted to your project from the beginning! Individual CLAs are simple click-through agreements that are immediately accepted. As soon as a contributor submits the form, you should be able to accept their contributions. In contrast, enterprise CLAs must be signed by someone with the authority to sign the company (usually a director or superior or a lawyer) and must also be controlled by someone on Google. . . .

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