contribution agreements for open source projects

Alex Russell alex at
Thu Sep 24 05:23:06 UTC 2009

On Sep 23, 2009, at 10:13 AM, Mitchell Baker wrote:

> On 9/23/09 9:04 PM, Alex Russell wrote:
>> On Sep 23, 2009, at 9:00 PM, John Cowan wrote:
>>> Jeffrey O'Neill scripsit:
>>>> Can anyone recommend a website that compares the contribution
>>>> agreements used by different projects?  I'd like to use one for my
>>>> project, but I'd like to consider the options so I can make an
>>>> informed choice.
>>> Unfortunately, few projects post them.
>> ??
>> Nearly every Foundation that requires them that I've seen posts  
>> them. Apache, Eclipse, etc., etc.
> Last I looked closely at Apache, it did NOT require assignment of  
> copyright.  It was a bit confusing because even some Apache folks  
> would describe things this way, but they actually got a license.   
> Has this changed?

Apache uses a system where you assign a perpetual, sub-licensable  
license to the Foundation for all the rights that matter (copyright,  
patent, etc.). Copyright (and all other rights) rest with the original  
author, but the Foundation gets the ability to license it how they see  


> Mozilla does not require this, Linux doesn't, and I thought Apache  
> didn't.
> mitchel

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