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Posted May 21, 2011 6:24 UTC (Sat) by Escubar (guest, #39034)
In reply to: and contributor agreements by pphaneuf
Parent article: and contributor agreements

Assigning copyright to a foundation which has some openness and you can participate in is certainly different from assigning it to a commercial entity which might or might not decide to close out others at a later point of time.

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Posted May 21, 2011 18:02 UTC (Sat) by pphaneuf (subscriber, #23480) [Link]

Let's be clear, the Apache CLA is not a copyright assignment, the original contributor keeps the copyright. The CLA says that you grant them a perpetual, non-exclusive license to the contributions, that you give a royalty-free license to any patents that cover the contribution (in the context of that contribution/project only), that you own the contribution and are allowed to contribute it (a bit like the Linux kernel Certificate of Origin process).

None of this really seems crazy to me, whether it is to a foundation or a commercial entity. The patent license thing is basically just saying you can't contribute code they can't use unless everyone gives you money (duh). Licensing your contributions is what you do when you give a GPL project a contribution under the same license, it's just saying it explicitly. The rest doesn't really give them special powers, but just cover their asses in case you're contributing "stolen code" or something.

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