Contributor Agreement

Every contributor is required to sign a Contributor Agreement (CA). Reasoning is below.

Why do we need it?

ODPS requires Contributor Agreement (CAs) from contributors for several key reasons:

  1. Intellectual Property (IP) Clarity: CAs help clarify the intellectual property rights related to contributions. They ensure that the project maintainers have the necessary rights to use, distribute, and modify the contributions. This is crucial for protecting both the project and its users from potential legal issues.

  2. License Consistency: Open source projects typically use specific licenses to dictate how their software can be used, modified, and distributed. CAs help ensure that all contributions are provided under the same license terms, maintaining the consistency and integrity of the project's licensing.

  3. Future Licensing Changes: If the project decides to change its license in the future (for example, from GPL to MIT), having a CA in place from all contributors can make this process smoother. It provides a legal basis for re-licensing the contributions under the new terms.

  4. Protection Against Legal Risks: CAs often include clauses that protect the project and its maintainers from legal risks associated with contributions. This includes affirmations that contributors own or have the right to submit their work and that their contributions do not infringe on the rights of others.

  5. Community Trust: By ensuring that contributions are legally sound and align with the project's goals and licensing, CAs help build trust within the open source community. Contributors and users can be more confident in the legal standing and professionalism of the project.

  6. Corporate Contributions: In cases where contributors are making submissions on behalf of a company, a CA clarifies the terms under which these contributions are made. This is particularly important for projects that receive contributions from employees of different companies, as it addresses any potential IP issues that might arise from such contributions.

In summary, Contributor Agreements are important tools for managing the legal and intellectual property aspects of open source projects, ensuring that they can continue to thrive and evolve while minimizing legal risks and maintaining the trust of the community.

CA referenced in Github issue templates

In the process of raising an issue, notification of CA acceptance is added and should be preserved in all cases.

Content of CA

In order to clarify the intellectual property license granted with Contributions from any person or entity, Open Data Product Initiative must have a Contributor License Agreement ("CLA") on file that has been signed by each Contributor, indicating agreement to the license terms below. This CLA is for your protection as a Contributor as well as the protection of Open Data Product Initiative and its users; it does not change your rights to use your own Contributions for any other purpose.

Please read this document carefully before agreeing

You accept and agree to the following terms and conditions for your present and future Contributions Submitted to Open Data Product Initiative. In return, Open Data Product Initiative shall not use your Contributions in a way that is contrary to the public benefit or inconsistent with its nonprofit status and bylaws in effect at the time of the Contribution. Except for the license granted herein to Open Data Product Initiative and recipients of software distributed by Open Data Product Initiative, You reserve all right, title, and interest in and to your Contributions.

  1. Definitions. "You" (or "Contributor") shall mean the copyright owner or legal entity authorized by the copyright owner that is making this CLA with Open Data Product Initiative. For legal entities, the entity making a Contribution and all other entities that control, are controlled by, or are under common control with that entity are considered to be a single Contributor.

    For the purposes of this definition, "control" means (i) the power, direct or indirect, to cause the direction or management of such entity, whether by contract or otherwise, or (ii) ownership of fifty percent (50%) or more of the outstanding shares, or (iii) beneficial ownership of such entity.

    "Contribution" shall mean any original work of authorship, including any modifications or additions to an existing work, that is intentionally Submitted by You to Open Data Product Initiative for inclusion in, or documentation of, any of the products owned or managed by Open Data Product Initiative (the "Work"). For the purposes of this definition, "Submitted" means any form of electronic, verbal, or written communication sent to Open Data Product Initiative or its representatives, including but not limited to communication on electronic mailing lists, source code control systems, and issue tracking systems that are managed by, or on behalf of, Open Data Product Initiative for the purpose of discussing and improving the Work, but excluding communication that is conspicuously marked or otherwise designated in writing by You as "Not a Contribution."

  2. Grant of Copyright License. Subject to the terms and conditions of this CLA, You hereby grant to Open Data Product Initiative and to recipients of software distributed by Open Data Product Initiative a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable copyright license to reproduce, prepare derivative works of, publicly display, publicly perform, sublicense, and distribute your Contributions and such derivative works.

  3. Grant of Patent License. Subject to the terms and conditions of this CLA, You hereby grant to Open Data Product Initiative and to recipients of software distributed by Open Data Product Initiative a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable (except as stated in this section) patent license to make, have made, use, offer to sell, sell, import, and otherwise transfer the Work, where such license applies only to those patent claims licensable by You that are necessarily infringed by your Contribution(s) alone or by a combination of your Contribution(s) with the Work to which such Contribution(s) was Submitted. If any entity institutes patent litigation against You or any other entity (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that your Contribution, or the Work to which you have contributed, constitutes a direct or contributory patent infringement, then any patent licenses granted to that entity under this CLA for that Contribution or Work shall terminate as of the date such litigation is filed.

  4. You represent that you are legally entitled to grant the above license. If your employer(s) has rights to intellectual property that you create that includes your Contributions, you represent that you have received permission to make Contributions on behalf of that employer, that your employer has waived such rights for your Contributions to Open Data Product Initiative, or that your employer has executed a separate Corporate CLA with Open Data Product Initiative.

  5. You represent that each of your Contributions is your original creation (see section 7 for submissions on behalf of others). You represent that your Contribution submissions include complete details of any third-party license or other restriction (including, but not limited to, related patents and trademarks) of which you are personally aware and which are associated with any part of your Contributions.

  6. You are not expected to provide support for your Contributions, except to the extent You desire to provide support. You may provide support for free, for a fee, or not at all. Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, You provide your Contributions on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied, including, without limitation, any warranties or conditions of TITLE, NON-INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY, or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

  7. You commit not to copy code from another project which license does not allow the duplication / reuse / modification of their source code and / or license is not compatible with the project you are contributing to. As a reminder, a project without an explicit license must be considered as a project with a copyrighted license.

  8. You agree to notify Open Data Product Initiative of any facts or circumstances of which you become aware that would make these representations inaccurate in any respect.

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