The Contributor License Agreement (CLA) is a contract between contributors and 52°North. It grants 52°North the rights needed to manage and sublicense software contributions as part of the 52°North software stack. The CLA requires contributors to grant non-exclusive rights to 52°North. All developers, who wish to contribute software to the 52°North code base must sign a CLA before submitting contributions. Please follow the CLA guidelines.
When do I need to sign a CLA?
In general you need to sign a CLA before submitting a contribution to the 52°North software stack and its documentation. Just in the exceptional case that you are acting on behalf of a certain organization only and not for yourself, we would need to receive a CLA of this organization and a confirmation that you are acting on their behalf. But please be aware that you would not be allowed to submit other contributions than those of this organization.
Do the full rights still reside with the Contributor?
Yes. The CLA does not ask for the transfer of exclusive rights to 52°North, so the full rights remain with the Contributor.
Why do I, as Contributor, have to transfer any rights to 52°North at all?
This enables 52°North
- to work with the contribution, i.e. to reproduce, to modify, to create derivative works and to combine the contribution with other software code;
- to grant the Open Source License to potential users;
- to change the terms of the Open Source License for a particular software project if necessary, such as we do now by introducing non-copyleft licenses for parts of the 52°North software stack;
- to exceptionally grant additional licenses with individual terms and conditions if required (e.g. for granting a commercial license to a software, which is published only under GPL; this will be less relevant when changing to non-copyleft licenses).
Does 52°North have to publish each contribution under the GNU GPLV2?
No, the new CLA does not oblige 52°North to publish each contribution under GNU GPL V2. However, some 52°North software will still be published under GNU GPL V2, e.g. software that is dependent on libraries, which are published under GPL.
How do you choose the license?
We prefer to use the non-copyleft license Apache 2.0, however, we will have to consider the license terms of software-components, which are used within the respective piece of 52°North software. Hence the actual license type chosen may vary to comply with these terms. Existing software projects will continue to work with their current license type until the 52°North community, which maintains this piece of software, decides to change it.
What is the advantage of using Apache 2.0 as compared to GPL?
The GPL license demands that all derivative work be published under GPL again (copyleft type of license). Non-copyleft licenses such as Apache 2.0 are less restrictive. They allow you to reuse the open software code free of charge, for non-commercial, as well as, for commercial purposes, mixed with open source and proprietary code.
What is meant by “publish” in section 5.2 ?
Section 5.2 states: “In case 52°North does not publish the Contribution within two (2) months after the Contributor has transmitted the Contribution to 52°North, all rights and licenses granted to 52°North under Section 3 of this Agreement will expire automatically.”
Publishing means, making the software available to the public under an open source license. This happens as soon as the code appears in the public SVN. Documentation is published as soon as it appears in a public Wiki, blog or web page.
Do I have to print and send the document, or can I send you a scanned copy?
Yes, you must mail us the original copies (2). The CLA is a legal document and currently a digital version does not suffice.