In which I observe that the Apache Software Foundation does not require Offering a patch file in this way does not entail signing the ICLA. The Apache License v2 (ALv2) is the best choice among But also don’t copy Apache’s ICLA/CCLA as that was not their intent when they. The Apache Software Foundation. Individual Contributor License Agreement (” Agreement”) V Thank you for your interest in .

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A rare exception is section 5 of the Apache Software License v2 that says: It is not as hard as you think.

Great I hear you say, so they pick up a license according to how much freedom they want to give to the recipients of their work. Grant of Patent License. No one is entitled to have their contributions accepted and projects and project participants can gate their acceptance beyond the requirements of the Foundation further on whatever they want.

Plenty of developers refuse to sign individual contributor agreements of any kind and plenty of corporations have legal processes that make signing corporate contributor agreements at best burdensome and at worst impossible.

Suppose you’ve also realized that Git and GitHub or even GitLab are radically more satisfying and open tooling than is Subversion. They are merely contributors, expressing an intent to contribute something specific. Pretty much every other open source community is happy to treat the act of contribution as sufficient representation of a right to contribute, but early in the life of ASF discussion involving certain corporate participants led to the application of these CLAs to contributions.

Contributors Licence Agreement (CLA)

An assignment assigns the legal power to control distribution of the work to some other entity, such that you no longer have that power yourself even if the assignment includes an irrevocable license in return. This is weird because the same changeset represented as apadhe patch file attachment presumably wouldn’t require a CLA, would only require a clear expression of intent.


An Apache legal email list thread occasioned by this blog post specifically so nice that this email list is open participation and open archives. Many people regard them as redundant, but since the beneficiary is a very stable and safe US public charity there are iclq complaints about them getting these direct grants of rights.

But ALv2 gives you full permission in advance to do anything you choose with the code, almost as if you owned it. Understand that projects developed at the Apache Software Foundation are licensed under the terms and conditions of the Apache License version 2.

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So having any form of contributor agreement comes with a qpache social cost. It is not the first time that I saw complaints or suspicion against CLAs. You may provide support for free, for a fee, or not at all. You accept and agree to the following terms and conditions for Your present and future Contributions submitted to the Foundation. What is the license governing the contribution?

Contributors Licence Agreement

People and organizations propose code changes to the original project maintainers. This is, I think, the first key point.

It is apche perfectly effective license to use for any open source project where the community has no expectation of contribution on the part of users of the code, as it conveys all the rights you need to work with the code independently of others. Conceptually this is like attaching a patch file to the issue tracker ical, except representing the patch file in a radically more friendly and compelling way.


That’s why contributions via attachments in Bugzilla, or JIRA, or post to an email list, or so all work. A CLA is probably overkill if you are running a project as an individual free ocla employer restrictions.

Some may sadly have died, too. Needless to say, iclla is probably a wise choice even in these cases to use iccla Apache Software License v2 because the section 5 that we highlighted above is explicit on what happens by default when someone proposes a contribution. Now if you have a bit of time, here is why I believe that CLAs are a good thing, although not every project actually needs it.

A CLA in practice It is not as hard as you think. The question Here’s the question: The contribution stays iclx. Thanks a lot Pierre for triggering this response that I had promised you, although I understand we may only agree to disagree: So next time you see a CLA: Sometimes they will also permit re-licensing, or include patent protection clauses so that you cannot both abide to the license terms and threaten to use patents against copyright holders and recipients.

I do not hold the truth, if any, so feel free to comment below!

Note that these documents are both copyright and patent license agreements. In return, the Foundation shall not use Your Contributions in a way that is contrary to the public benefit or inconsistent with its nonprofit status and bylaws in effect at the time of the Contribution.