October 18, 2018
Hot Topics:

Simon Phipps Warns Against Open Source Contributor Agreements

  • August 27, 2010
  • By Developer.com Staff

Contributor agreements that aggregate the copyrights of open source code should be avoided, says computer industry veteran Simon Phipps.

Phipps is the Open Source Initiative director, and in a blog post he outlined the reasons open source projects and developers should not use or sign contributor agreements.

He said contributor agreements undermine equality and meritocracy.

"An open source community is an open, meritocratic oligarchy - ruled by an elite who gained leadership based on the merit of their participation and skills, open equally to anyone who does the same in the future," Phipps explains. "The presence of a 'contributor agreement' that involves copyright aggregation may be a warning sign that the community using it has one member who is more equal than all the others."

Phipps said that not all contributor agreements are bad, but the ones that aggregate copyrights to a business, rather than a non-profit foundation, are no good.

View Article

Comment and Contribute


(Maximum characters: 1200). You have characters left.



Enterprise Development Update

Don't miss an article. Subscribe to our newsletter below.

By submitting your information, you agree that developer.com may send you developer offers via email, phone and text message, as well as email offers about other products and services that developer believes may be of interest to you. developer will process your information in accordance with the Quinstreet Privacy Policy.


Thanks for your registration, follow us on our social networks to keep up-to-date