After feedback from the community and people at the Spring.io conference, I have decided to add a CLA for any new contribution to JobRunr. For the CLA, instead of enforcing requirements on the grants and code, we now require contributions to be licensed under the LGPL license.
The JobRunr project and community has seen enormous growth in the last year. Many volunteers work tirelessly to give you all the awesomeness that you see today and much more work is involved than many people realize.
A CLA is difficult to describe but GitHub did an excellent job so this next section is taken from https://cla.github.com:
What is a Contributor License Agreement?
A Contributor License Agreement, known as a CLA, asks contributors to confirm that:
Anyone can use your contributions anywhere, for free, forever. Your contributions do not infringe on anyone else’s rights. The GitHub CLA helps ensure the smooth operation and usability of the open source projects that we maintain.
Why is a CLA neessary?
It depends on the jurisdiction, but in the United States, contributions are owned by the author or their employer. When the contribution is accepted, the project becomes a bundle of derivative works. The agreement of all contributors are necessary to maintain distribution of the complete project and to any licensing agreement.
Isn’t that the purpose of an open-source license?
Most open source licenses deal with use of the original code, and don’t refer to contributions, or derivatives of the original.
How does a CLA protect a project?
If the owner of a contribution decides that they don’t want the contribution to be part of the project or in any given distribution, the law is on their side. The project, contributors, and users may be subject to legal action. This may require payment of damages and could prevent further usage or contributions until the matter is resolved.
Even when there is no legal pursuit, too much ambiguity can jeopardize or doom a project by preventing those that can’t risk legal action from getting involved.
Why does it seem like only “corporate” projects have a CLA?
There are many projects without corporate ownership that use a CLA or even a copyright assignment: jQuery and Eclipse, for example. However, it is true that projects with financial backing tend to be at a higher risk of becoming a target, so they may have a lower tolerance for legal ambiguity.
Moving forward & growing!
Thanks to the amazing Java community, my great friends at Spring.io and my first awesome customers, I hope I can grow this project for years to come!