[Freeipa-devel] [ALL] How to contribute to FreeIPA

Simo Sorce ssorce at redhat.com
Tue Apr 8 02:04:51 UTC 2008

Good news! 

We now have clear guidelines for contributions of code, documentation,
patches, and artwork to the FreeIPA project.

Every free software/open source (FOSS) project requires legal guidance
with regard to copyrights, patents, and trademarks. While some
projects require full copyright assignment to the project or a
sponsoring organization, others allow individual contributors to
retain their copyright.

We have decided to expand on the popular Fedora model and, with the
community in mind, developed a generic Contributor License Agreement
(CLA): [link here].  The CLA grants to Red Hat, as the sponsor of the
project, a license on all code contributed to the project. This
permits Red Hat to license the code under a FOSS license of its
choice.  The author of the code continues to hold the copyright in
that code, and is free to contribute the same code to other projects
and to license it under whatever terms the author desires.

The CLA needs to be completed and sent to Red Hat before you begin
contributing code to any of the projects listed in Appendix A of the
document. At that point all your contributions, if accepted by the
project, are covered by the CLA.

Q: Why do you require me to sign a CLA ? 

A: We think it is important for a central organization to manage the
various legal issues surrounding FOSS projects. With a CLA, we will be
able to react and respond to these issues on behalf of the entire
project. We are committed to the values underlying FOSS, and these
provisions are meant solely to keep the project safe from legal
problems that may arise.

Q: What if I am already contributing code to Fedora? Does this CLA
still need to be completed?

A: Yes.  This CLA is modeled on the original Fedora CLA, but with some
improvements.  By completing the new CLA, you can begin contributing
code to any of the projects listed in Appendix A.  This doesn't affect
any of your rights in your previous contributions.

Q: Why is the license granted to Red Hat and not to the project?

A: Most FOSS projects are not organized as legal entities.  In some
cases, difficult issues can arise if ownership and licensing of
copyright is not administered properly.  By licensing the code to Red
Hat, the author retains ownership of the copyright.  Red Hat helps by
managing the licensing of the project code under the appropriate FOSS

If you want to contribute, please complete the form and send it back
to the address indicated on the form.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the CLA, please
contact Richard Fontana <rfontana at redhat.com> or Bill Baroniunas
<wbaroniu at redhat.com>.

Simo Sorce * Red Hat, Inc * New York

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