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Fedora CLA in Human Speak
One of the ways to make the CLA less scary is to explain it in plain English. This has been quite successful for the CC licenses .
This content cannot become ratified and used formally in Fedora without first receiving express permission from Red Hat legal counsel.
Human Speak DRAFT
This short explanation is derived from an understanding of the spirit and meaning behind the full Contributors License Agreement (CLA).
The CLA is a document that is protecting you, Fedora, and Red Hat. You are the contributor, whether an individual or acting on behalf of a larger body.
You may contribute in many ways, such as via mailing lists, bug/issue tracking, Wiki, and CVS. The CLA is a general cover agreement for all those contributions, unless you specifically state additional terms or conditions. You can also state "Not a Contribution" for anything you do not want to or cannot contribute. You are not required to have a signed CLA for all the activities it can cover (such as mailing lists and bug reporting), but once you have signed the CLA, it covers all those contributions.
The CLA is a grant of license to use your contribution. The grant is made to Red Hat on behalf of the Fedora Project. The grant specifically passes through to cover everyone who uses Fedora software and content. The grant is a signed promise that your contribution arrives free and shall remain free, forever. 1
If you are sued for your contribution by a patent or rights holder, the CLA states that the suing party immediately loses rights to the license grant. 2 This clause is similar to what the Open Invention Network provides its members.
As part of agreeing to the CLA, you are stating that you own and/or have the right to make all of your contributions, wherever they originate from, yourself or a body you represent, such as an employer or other organization. 3
You are free to support or not support your contributions. You are under no obligation to support the contributions, and are expressly freed from any warranties, guarantees, or other considerations. 4
If you find out there are any problems with a contribution or your signing of this CLA, you agree to be responsibile for informing the correct people within the Fedora Project.
Human Speak Footnotes
1. Free to be used in any way. This CLA grant of license guarantees that your contribution remains free, forever. 1. a clause that terminates your grant of license so that people who are suing you for patent infringement cannot continue to use your contribution. 1. Making this statement is part of being responsible and accountable for your actions. 1. This bit of legalese is particularly important for contributors who live in the United States, which has warranty laws.
What the CLA is
- An agreement that protects Fedora, Red Hat, and the individual contributor
- It is made between the Contributor and Red Hat
- Red Hat does this on behalf of the Fedora Project
- Does not grant the Contributor additional rights
- Acts to protect the rights of the Contribution, forevermore
Why you should care
- Part of taking responsibility for your own work and ideas
- It does not remove any rights you (may) have to your contributions
- It does not supercede other existing license restrictions
Why Fedora cares
- Document spirit matters as much as legality
- Contributors being accountable for their contributions
- CLA is worthwhile regardless of ability to legally enforce in your country
- Ensures that anything you contribute, you have the right to contribute
- This puts the liability in the hands of the Contributor
- Removes Fedora as a target for liability of Contributor mistake
- Risk to Fedora is greater than the risk to the individual contributor
- Being a Contributor has meaning in the community
- Can only get that role by signing the CLA
- It signifies real membership in the community
- Put the simplified CLA points at the top of every page when you edit (./) Done
- After signing CLA, provide what to do now (call to action).
- Click-through capability of the WikiLicense ?