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Covenant for contributors has real promise

Sep 15, 2011, 20:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)

[ Thanks to Amy Bennett for this link. ]

"When a software developer creates a particular piece of code and wants to contribute it to a larger project, there needs to be some sort of agreement (formal or informal) as to what kind of license the contributed bit of code (the "incoming" license) will have in relation to the license of the larger project (the "outgoing" license). Ideally, you want the incoming license and the outgoing license to match up, because you wouldn't want, say, the incoming license be GPL and the outgoing license be a BSD license.

"When the project is manage by a commercial company, things get a little more complicated. These companies typically want to make really sure their investment in the software is protected, so what they usually do is formally ask contributors to sign a Contributor License Agreement (CLA), which usually require contributors to not only certify the code they're turning in is clean, but also grant the project full rights to control the license of the contributed code within the project indefinitely."

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