Thank you for your interest in contributing to Audacity. This page describes the established guidelines for contributions of code, patches and artwork to Audacity.
In order to clarify the intellectual property license granted with contributions from any person or entity, Audacity must have a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) on file that has been signed by each Contributor, indicating agreement to certain license terms. This license is not only for the protection of the contributors themselves, but also for the protection of the project and its users; it does not change your rights to use your own Contributions for any other purpose.
All past and future contributors of non-trivial amounts of code (more than just a line or two) to Audacity are required to sign the CLA. If somebody is unable to sign the document, their contribution will not be accepted or will be removed from Audacity.
Version 1.0 – May 1, 2020
What is a CLA?
A Contributor License Agreement (CLA) defines the terms under which intellectual property has been contributed to a company/project, typically open source. Quote from Wikipedia.
Why is a signed CLA required?
The license agreement is a legal document in which you state you are entitled to contribute the code to Audacity and are willing to have it used in distributions and derivative works. This means that should there be any kind of legal issue in the future as to the origins and ownership of any particular piece of code, Audacity has the necessary forms on file from the contributor(s) saying they were permitted to make this contribution.
The CLA also ensures that once you have provided a contribution, you cannot try to withdraw permission for its use at a later date. People and companies can therefore use Audacity, confident that they will not be asked to stop using pieces of the code at a later date.
Being able to make a clear statement about the origins of the code is very important as Audacity is adopted by large organizations who are necessarily cautious about adopting products with unknown origins. We wish for Audacity to be used and distributed as widely as possible and in order to do this with confidence, we need to be sure about the origins and continuing existence of the code.
Can I withdraw permission to use my contributions at a later date?
No. This is one of the reasons Audacity requires a CLA. No individual contributor can hold such a threat over the entire community of users. Once you make a contribution, you are saying MUSECY SM LTD (an affiliate of MuseScore and Ultimate Guitar) can use that piece of code forever.
Trivial patches like spelling fixes or missing words won’t require an agreement, since anybody could do those. However, almost anything will require a CLA.
You and Audacity agree:
- You grant MUSECY SM LTD, an affiliate of MuseScore and Ultimate Guitar, (“Company”) the ability to use the Contributions in any way. You hereby grant to Company , a perpetual, non-exclusive, worldwide, fully paid-up, royalty free, irrevocable copyright license to reproduce, prepare derivative works of, publicly display, publicly perform, sublicense, and distribute your Contribution and such derivative works.
- You are able to grant Company these rights. You represent that You are legally entitled to grant the above license. If Your employer has rights to intellectual property that You create, You represent that You have received permission to make the Contributions on behalf of that employer, or that Your employer has waived such rights for the Contributions.
- The Contributions are your original work. You represent that the Contributions are Your original works of authorship, and to Your knowledge, no other person claims, or has the right to claim, any right in any invention or patent related to the Contributions. You also represent that You are not legally obligated, whether by entering into an agreement or otherwise, in any way that conflicts with the terms of this license. For example, if you have signed an agreement requiring you to assign the intellectual property rights in the Contributions to an employer or customer, that would conflict with the terms of this license.
- Company determines the code that is in the Company project. You understand that the decision to include the Contribution in any project or source repository is entirely that of Company, and this agreement does not guarantee that the Contributions will be included in any product.
- No Implied Warranties. Company acknowledges that, except as explicitly described in this Agreement, the Contribution is provided on an “AS IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF TITLE, NON-INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY, OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.