Contributor License Agreement

CLA’s are increasingly used by many open source projects.   A CLA ensures that potential contributors and PKP establish a basic but binding agreement for all code contributions. The PKP CLA is based on the one used by the Apache Software Foundation.  It was reviewed by one of PKP’s major development partners before it was adopted by PKP.

This agreement allows the Public Knowledge Project to make your code contribution freely, openly and forever available to our user community.

This agreement describes how you are allowing PKP to use you software contribution.  Signing this agreement does not modify your rights to use, modify and distribute this software under the terms of the GPL.

The full text of the CLA is available here.

Here is a plain language (not legally binding) summary of the eight clauses of the CLA:

  1. Defines legal terms.  “You” can be an individual or an entity such as an institution.  “Contribution” is the code you provide to PKP. The latter definition is very inclusive; at this time PKP is only requiring a CLA for code contributions.
  2. You allow PKP to include your code with all of its open source software. You retain your copyright on the code.
  3. The same as Clause 2, but refers to patents rather than copyrights.
  4. You can legally contribute this code. If you work for a company or institution, you may need to acquire permission
  5. Confirms you are the creator of the code.
  6. Relieves you of any ongoing support requirements for your code.
  7. Provides an option for you to submit someone else’s code along with a clear statement on any restrictions.
  8. This clause only applies to contributions from a company or institution.  It asks you to let us know when you change the designated individuals permitted to contribute code to PKP.

This summary is for informational purposes only. If you are not sure about your obligations to your institution or employer, we recommend checking with them. If you have questions or concerns before signing, please get in touch with us.