[Python-Dev] Contributor Agreements for Patches - was [Jython-dev] Jython on Google AppEngine!

"Martin v. Löwis" martin at v.loewis.de
Mon Apr 13 16:44:36 CEST 2009

>     * What is the scope of a patch that requires a contributor
>       agreement?

Van's advise is as follows:

There is no definite ruling on what constitutes "work" that is
copyright-protected; estimates vary between 10 and 50 lines.
Establishing a rule based on line limits is not supported by
law. Formally, to be on the safe side, paperwork would be needed
for any contribution (no matter how small); this is tedious and
probably unnecessary, as the risk of somebody suing is small.
Also, in that case, there would be a strong case for an implied

So his recommendation is to put the words

"By submitting a patch or bug report, you agree to license it under the
Apache Software License, v. 2.0, and further agree that it may be
relicensed as necessary for inclusion in Python or other downstream

into the tracker; this should be sufficient for most cases. For
committers, we should continue to require contributor forms.

Contributor forms can be electronic, but they need to name the
parties, include a signature (including electronic), and include
a company contribution agreement as necessary.


P.S. I'm sure Van will jump in if I misunderstood parts of this.

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