Eclipse CLA FAQ

Last updated June 27, 2013

The Eclipse Foundation Contributor License Agreement (CLA) is a key document in the process of managing intellectual property contributions to Eclipse projects. This FAQ is intended to help explain what they are, and how they are used.

  1. What does the CLA do?

    The purpose of the CLA is to provide a written record that you have agreed to provide your contributions of code and documentation under the licenses used by the Eclipse project(s) you're contributing to. It also makes it clear that you are promising that what you are contributing to Eclipse is code that you wrote, and you have the necessary rights to contribute it to our projects. And finally, it documents a commitment from you that your open source contributions will be permanently on the public record.
  2. Why is a CLA necessary?

    It's basically about documenting the provenance of all of the intellectual property coming into Eclipse. We want to have a clear record that you have agreed to the terms under which the Eclipse community has agreed to accept contributions.
  3. Does this means that the Eclipse Foundation will own my code?

    No. The Eclipse CLA does not include a license or assignment to the Eclipse Foundation. Unlike many other open source communities or projects, Eclipse simply wants you to license your contributions under the open source license(s) used by the project. So you (or your employer) will continue to own your code.
  4. Why do you need to know my personal information?

    As part of our open source project recordkeeping, we want to be able to link every line of code to the people who contributed them. In the unlikely event of a dispute over authorship or copyright provenance, Eclipse needs to be able to demonstrate when the code arrived at Eclipse, how we acquired the rights to that code, and who wrote it.
  5. How long is the CLA good for?

    The CLA is good for three years, after which it will be expired and you will be asked to complete a new one. However, if your personal information changes (e.g. your address or your employer), we ask that you invalidate your current CLA and complete a new one.
  6. Does the CLA replace my committer agreement?

    No. Your Committer Agreement is the agreement that allows you to have write access to the Eclipse Foundation source code repositories. The CLA is intended for people who are not committers who wish to make contributions to Eclipse projects.
  7. I am an Eclipse committer. Do I need to sign a CLA?

    Maybe. You do not need to sign a CLA to work on the projects for which you are a committer. However, if you want to make contributions to an Eclipse project for which you are not a committer, you will need a CLA.
  8. What happens if I don't sign the CLA?

    Nothing, except you won't be allowed to contribute to open source projects at Eclipse.
  9. Eclipse has been around a long time. Why are you doing CLAs now?

    We want to make it easier for you to contribute to Eclipse projects. Previously, we have been asking contributors to agree to the equivalent of the CLA via Bugzilla or Gerrit on each and every contribution. Moving to CLAs is intended to streamline that process, and make it easier for contributions to be accepted by Eclipse projects.
  10. How do I sign a CLA?

    Log into the Eclipse projects forge (you will need to create an account with the Eclipse Foundation if you have not already done so); click on "Contributor License Agreement"; and Complete the form. Be sure to use the same email address when you register for the account that you intend to use on Git commit records.