The thoughts, opinions and sometimes the rants of Mark Evans

osCommerce and the CLA

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To follow-up to my previous posting about osCommerce and the BSD Licence I will now try and answer some of the misconceptions around the new CLA (Contributor License Agreement) which was added as part of the osCommerce 3.x release. I will also aim to make this into an official FAQ document when time allows.

The reason we have decided to include the need to sign a CLA before contributions can be accepted into the osCommerce core is to ensure that the entire community can understand the terms under which the code has been contributed to the project. Signing the CLA does not change your rights to use your own Contributions for any other purpose and only applies to contributions which you want to be considered for inclusion into the “Core” framework. The CLA does not apply to community addons which are available from the addons site.

The CLA is here to protect the rights of the community to ensure that any code which is included as part of the core framework is removed from licensing and patent restrictions.

  1. Do I need to agree to the CLA to create community addons for osCommerce 3.x?
  1. No. Only contributions which you would like to be considered for the “core” framework require the CLA to be agreed to.
  1. If my contribution is accepted in the “core” framework for osCommerce 3.x what does that mean?
  1. By agreeing to the CLA you are providing osCommerce a non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, sublicenseable, transferable license.
  1. What does this license allow?
  1. You agree to let osCommerce use, copy, prepare derivative works of, distribute and publicly perform and display on any licensing terms your contribution to the “core” framework, including without limitation be distributed under open source licenses such the the GNU General Public License / BSD License and also be included in binary only / commercial projects.
  1. Can I still use any contribution I make to the osCommerce “core” framework for other projects?
  1. Yes. Agreeing to the CLA and allowing your code to be considered for inclusion into the “core” framework in no way affects your rights to use your code in any way you like.

In summary, the CLA is there to help make clear that any contributions included into the “core” framework are without restriction and that anyone contributing code has the right to do so, free of any restriction such as intellectual property or patent and that they have the legal right to agree to the terms of the CLA.

I am sure that we can encourage developers to contribute to the framework and by doing so, they can help us make it as stable and as flexible as possible. Now is the time for community to embrace open source and get involved.