Subject: Re: Contributor Agreements (Was: Licensing question)
From: Frank Hecker <hecker@hecker.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 16:37:07 -0500

David Ryan wrote:
> The discussion of contributor agreements made me wonder about standard 
> practices for these documents.  I've grabbed a few links to see how 
> others have drafted theirs.
> 
> http://www.netbeans.org/download/contributor-agreement.pdf
> http://www.apache.org/licenses/icla.txt
> http://www.apache.org/licenses/cla-corporate.txt
> http://www.openoffice.org/licenses/jca.pdf
> http://ecos.sourceware.org/assign.html
> http://www.cygwin.com/assign.txt
> http://rhea.redhat.com/CCMCopyrightAssignment.html

When I was at CollabNet we also did a contributor assignment agreement 
for the openadaptor project:

http://www.openadaptor.org/contributor-assignment-form.pdf
http://www.openadaptor.org/contributor-assignment-faq.html

This was drafted by one set of lawyers and received review from another 
set, with input from me and other non-lawyers; hopefully it remains 
understandable after all that :-) The agreement was intended for use by 
individual contributors, with special sections for people who were under 
work for hire arrangements or who were minors. In practice we had to use 
modified versions of the agreement for some cases where a corporation 
wanted to contribute code and we wanted to put a blanket assignment 
agreement in place to cover all of the corporation's employees.

We also did a separate committer agreement as well, to supplement the 
contributor assignment agreement for those people who were actually 
committing code to the project CVS repository on their own or on behalf 
of others:

http://www.openadaptor.org/committer-access-form.pdf
http://www.openadaptor.org/committer-access-faq.html

I think that committer agreements are another type of agreement that 
might benefit from standardizing on best practices. In creating the 
openadaptor agreement I liberally borrowed from the corresponding 
Mozilla agreement (with permission).

Frank

-- 
Frank Hecker
hecker@hecker.org