iPlant Collaborative Contributor License Agreement
Click the link at the end of this sentence and print out the iPlant Collaborative Contributor License Agreement.
Read it completely. If you understand and agree to its terms, fill it out and send it to us using any of the methods described in the document.
If you have questions or concerns, please email us at email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Contributor License Agreement (CLA) actually mean?
By signing the CLA, the person contributing source code provides a license to iPlant to use the source code submitted. By doing so, the contributor does not give up his or her own rights or copyright to the submitted code, but provides iPlant with a license, which is permission to use the code under specific terms. The purpose of the CLA is to clearly define those terms and to make sure that to the best of the contributor's knowledge such a contribution is not violating anyone else's intellectual property.
This whole business around CLA sounds (odd/scary/corporate) to me. I've been involved in other open-source projects and never had any
Actually, the CLA doesn't just protect large companies; it protects all users including small and medium businesses and projects, as well as individuals. By having a CLA in place, iPlant mitigates the risk of companies claiming intellectual property infringement and coming after users of iPlant software for licensing fees. This is a common practice. For example, here are links to the CLAs of a few well-known open source projects:
- The Apache Software Foundation
- Data Intensive Cyberinfrastructure Foundation (iRODS)
- Yahoo!'s YUI
How does the CLA actually protect the iPlant user base?
By requiring contributors to sign a CLA, iPlant mitigates the risk of accepting contributions which infringe third parties' intellectual property rights while ensuring that iPlant may release all code with an open source license. Here you may read the text of the standard BSD license that we use.
Do I lose the rights to my work if I contribute code to iPlant after having signed the CLA?
No. By signing the CLA you grant iPlant the perpetual right to use and modify your contribution as a permanent part of iPlant code, which iPlant releases with an open source license that then permits others to use or modify it, but as stated in the CLA, "You reserve all right, title, and interest in and to Your Contributions." This means you retain the right to release it or use it in any other way you wish--it is still your code.