contribution agreements for open source projects
forums at david-woolley.me.uk
Thu Sep 24 06:47:09 UTC 2009
John Cowan wrote:
> My personal view is that asking your contributors to license their
> stuff under the existing project license is plenty, unless you are a
> mega-project and actually expect to fend off lawsuits.
A not uncommon reason for such agreements is so that the project
originator can exploit modifications in proprietary versions. That's
the case for Asterisk, and, although I didn't read the Sun agreement
that closely when it came up here, I think it also the case for Sun.
The basic trade is that, in return for having your contributions in the
primary fork, the primary developer gets to use them almost as if they
owned them. Such contribution licences are more acceptable to patch
submitters than would be the FSF approach of requiring an assignment of
the copyright ownership, given the intent to commercially exploit.
Emails are not formal business letters, whatever businesses may want.
RFC1855 says there should be an address here, but, in a world of spam,
that is no longer good advice, as archive address hiding may not work.
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