Open Source Contributor License Agreement

“Contribution” means any original work of authorship, including any modification or addition of an existing work that you intentionally transmit to Google for the registration or documentation of any of the products owned or operated by Google (the “Work”). For the purposes of this definition, “transmission” means any form of electronic, oral or written communication sent to Google or its representatives, including, but not limited to, communications through electronic mailing lists, source control systems and outcome tracking systems maintained by or on behalf of Google to discuss and improve work, with the exception, however, of communications; that are strikingly marked by you or that are otherwise marked in writing with “no contribution” or otherwise labelled. For the contributor, as has already been said, ASAs require the contributor to analyze an often dense and complex legal document tailored to measure. Even if they are able to do so, if they work for a company that makes software, there is a good chance that they will have to be dressed by their employer`s lawyers, a non-trivial process. The reason for this is that CLAs require developers to certify that they own the copyright in their code and that their contribution does not violate the rights of others, two provisions that are not obvious in the case of professional software developers. On the one hand, the code can be the property of the employer depending on the time of day, the computer used, the type of contribution or even the personnel manual. On the other hand, the employee may have theoretical access to trade secrets and other confidential information, which means that he may accidentally jeopardize a company patent or agreement, even if he does not intend to do so. A Contributor License Agreement (CLA) defines the conditions under which intellectual property has contributed to a business/project, usually open source licensed software. A CLA may not be necessary if the open source project uses a Developed Certificate of Origin (DCO) instead. The DCO was created by the Linux Foundation as a concise explanation for a contributor to confirm that they created their contribution or that they have the right to send it to an open source project and accept that their contribution can be released among the project`s open source licenses.

In a way, the DCO is like a lightweight CLA that may be more attractive to contributors who would otherwise refuse to sign a CLA with broader terms. Most open source developers aren`t lawyers, and they shouldn`t have to contribute to it. If a project is optimized for the developer experience, in the hope of maximizing contributions, then it would be unthetical to require a contributor to hire an external consultant to properly assess what they agree with or, in many cases, get the agreement of their employer`s business advisor before they can contribute, a frustrating experience, which can move the smallest contributions from minute to week. Provided that the developer finally gets permission, a result that is not guaranteed in many corporate cultures. Since August 2011, Canonical has required contributions to be granted under a Harmony contribution license agreement, instead of transferring the copyright to Canonical. [38] With the Harmony CLA, canonical contributors grant a license to use their contributions. . . .



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