Community mailing list archives

Re: git mailmap, CLA and blame, license

Olivier Dony (odo)
- 02/10/2015 12:54:05
> On 10/02/2015 16:55, Lionel Sausin wrote:
>> What does the CLA grant that the LGPL doesn't already grant?
>> Is it in the "sublicensing", like it would allow Odoo SA to integrate the
>> contribitions in non-LGPL work?
>> Not that I have an opinion for or against that, I just like to understand
>> what I sign.

We've tried to explain in the CLA FAQ, but it certainly needs to be improved:

In a nutshell, the idea behind signing a CLA is to clearly establish that:
  (1) you certify you own the copyright for your contributions
  (2) you do intentionally contribute them to the project
  (3) you give a permanent license to the project owner to do what they want
      with your contributions - without restricting what *you* can
      do with *your* contributions.
      (what the owner can do might be further restricted in the CLA itself)

This is quite different from what happens if you simply contribute to an 
[A|L]GPL project without "signing" anything. With a CLA the whole project 
codebase is consistent with regard to licensing and permissions, there is no 
dispute possible for origin/ownership of any part of it, and the project owner 
is free to manage it however they want.

For instance if there is a CLA on file for each contributor, (3) gives the 
project owner the right to change the license of the project without having to 
ask for a specific 'one-shot' permission from all contributors.

Note that this has nothing to do with license compatibilities or combining 
different projects/libraries. The CLA only covers the main project, and 
certainly not its external dependencies nor any derived work based on the 
project (e.g. community modules).