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From "John D. Ament" <>
Subject Re: When is an ICLA needed?
Date Tue, 20 Jan 2015 11:24:32 GMT

I recommend projects to request ICLAs whenever accepting a contribution.
Signing an ICLA has no correlation to being accepted as a committer.


On Tue Jan 20 2015 at 6:04:25 AM Rob Vesse <> wrote:

> All
> I keep an eye on the Lucene.Net TLP since I use it in some of my other
> projects and after a long hiatus the activity in that community has picked
> up considerably.  However there is one thing that has caught my eye that
> they've been doing recently which I'm not sure is strictly necessary.  I
> noticed that as they've been recruiting new contributors (not committers)
> for their porting efforts they've been asking these contributors to sign
> the ICLA before they will accept a pull request.
> My understanding was always that the ICLA is only required if you are a
> committer though may still be desirable for larger contributions, quoting
> from -
> "The ASF desires that all contributors of ideas, code, or documentation to
> the Apache projects complete, sign, and submit (via postal mail, fax or
> email) an Individual Contributor License Agreement
> <> (1) (CLA) [ PDF form
> <> ]. The purpose of this agreement
> is to clearly define the terms under which intellectual property has been
> contributed to the ASF and thereby allow us to defend the project should
> there be a legal dispute regarding the software at some future time. A
> signed CLA is required to be on file before an individual is given commit
> rights to an ASF project."
> Note the use of the word "desires" here, only committers are required to
> have an agreement on file.  Contributors can always make contributions
> without one since the Apache License explicitly has a clause that covers
> this (
> Actual committers still have to merge and push the pull requests made by
> contributors to the ASF repos so from an ASF perspective the provenance of
> the contributions is OK since we know they were pushed by a committer
> (though obviously committers still need to be reviewing the contributions
> to check for any possible IP violations)
> Is my understanding on this right?
> If so I shall be pinging their dev list to remind them of this since IMO
> they are putting a potentially unnecessary hurdle in front of new
> contributors.
> Additionally they don't appear to have offered committership/PMC
> membership to any of these new people who have signed ICLAs and whose pull
> requests are getting merged so I will be pinging the list to remind them
> about this regardless.  I've seen that there are several people who've
> made considerable sustained contributions which in any other ASF project
> I've been involved in would have earned them sufficient merit to be
> offered at least committership (if not PMC membership) by now.
> Regards,
> Rob
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