Bradley M. Kuhn

Why Your Project Doesn't Need a Contributor Licensing Agreement

Bradley M. Kuhn at

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@bkuhn Influenced in part by your advocacy, yesterday I announced that, effective immediately, the many JBoss projects must cease use of CLAs (with the only exception being ones that are JSR RI projects where there might be a JCP-imposed CLA requirement).

I think the thing that really made me decide to do this was a comment on the FLOSS Foundations list from a very prominent developer in the history of free software/open source who defended the use of CLAs on grounds of 'hygiene'. As I told someone off-list, this comment made me physically ill. I had to do something.

The JBoss projects were really the only Red Hat-maintained projects left that made use of CLAs, apart from the odd case of the Fedora Project Contributor Agreement (which implements spot's idea of 'default MIT/X11 licensing', a replacement for an older Apache-style CLA which was politically unpopular). Cygwin continues to use copyright assignment and probably will for all time (though I have suggested to the Red Hat maintainer that the copyright be assigned to her rather than to Red Hat). But that's it.

Richard Fontana at 2014-06-14T03:36:36Z