Archive for August 2016
As promised in my last post, today we are rolling out the new Eclipse Contributor Agreement (ECA). As I mentioned earlier, if you already have an active Eclipse CLA, you don’t have to do anything….your CLA remains active and you can convert to the new agreement when it expires after three years. That said, we think that the new agreement is clearer, and more consistent with the practices of the broader free and open source community.
In other news, last Wednesday the Eclipse Foundation Board of Directors approved the new IP Policy that I discussed in late June. This means that by the end of this year, projects at the Eclipse Foundation will be able to pick the type of IP due diligence that they want. If you want to learn more, I strongly suggest that you read my previous post on the topic, and join in the conversation on bug 496959.
The Eclipse Foundation continues to enhance its policies and procedures to make it a better place for developers to host their projects. I hope everyone agrees that these are all steps in the right direction.
In addition to overhauling our IP processes, next week the Eclipse Foundation will be updating our contributor agreements. The changes we’ll be making include:
- Rename the CLA to the “Eclipse Contributor Agreement” or “ECA”. The reason we’re doing that is that in many circles within the free and open source community “CLA” has a negative connotation, as many CLAs require authors to assign ownership of their contributions to some entity. Eclipse does not do this, nor ever intends to do so. We have had a number of instances where people have assumed that our CLA does something it doesn’t, just because of the name. Hopefully a different TLA will help with that.
- The current CLA basically copies and rephrases the Eclipse Contributor Certificate of Originality (CoO). It would be a lot easier to simply embed a direct copy of the relevant text in the ECA.
- The Eclipse Foundation has its own CoO. We have had a number of requests to move to the Linux Foundation’s Developer Certificate of Origin (DCO), as it is widely adopted and well understand by the broad community of open source producers and consumers. So we are going to do that.
We do not consider these changes to be a big deal from a legal perspective — the end result of good record-keeping and clear IP flows remain the same. As a result, everyone with existing Eclipse CLAs will continue to use those until they expire. We are hoping that these changes will not cause any disruption to our existing contributor work flow.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns!