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From Ron Wheeler <>
Subject ICLA for contributors
Date Thu, 09 Jun 2016 15:46:08 GMT
As part of a discussion during last weeks meeting in Mpntreal, the 
question was raised about the requirement to have an Individual 
Contributor License Agreement (ICLA) for each contributor. describes the requirements as follows:

"The ASF desires that all contributors of ideas, code, or documentation 
to any Apache projects complete, sign, and submit (via fax or email) an 
Individual Contributor License Agreement (ICLA). The purpose of this 
agreement is to clearly define the terms under which intellectual 
property has been contributed to the ASF and thereby allow us to defend 
the project should there be a legal dispute regarding the software at 
some future time. A signed ICLA is required to be on file before an 
individual is given commit rights to an ASF project.

For a corporation that has assigned employees to work on an Apache 
project, a Corporate CLA (CCLA) is available for contributing 
intellectual property via the corporation, that may have been assigned 
as part of an employment agreement. Note that a Corporate CLA does not 
remove the need for every developer to sign their own ICLA as an 
individual, to cover any of their contributions which are not owned by 
the corporation signing the CCLA."

There is a split between desirable and mandatory.

I am not sure that the argument that submitting a PR is a clear sign of 
intent to give up all rights, has ever been tested in a court but it is 
much easier to have an signed ICLA for each contributor.

A CCLA for each company that is either paying people to work on the 
project or has a clause in their employment contract giving the company 
rights to all IP created during their employment is required. This 
removes any ambiguity about the individual's right to make a PR.

It is a little bit of housekeeping to keep track of the list of 
contributors with ICLA's. A wiki page listing the contributors is a 
simple solution. 
is what we did at OFBiz.

The ICLA and CCLA is good for all Apache projects.


Ron Wheeler
Artifact Software Inc
skype: ronaldmwheeler
phone: 866-970-2435, ext 102

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