The goal of contributoragreements.org is to develop the legal and technical infrastructure that will enable open source collaborative projects to receive, use, and share in-kind contributions from participants while eliminating or minimizing the legal risk therefrom to the projects and those who depend on them. Easy to use template agreements mean less friction (transaction cost) and more time to create. In order to achieve this goal, contributoragreements.org was established as a platform to deepen the discussion around the practices and legal questions for contributor agreements, and to provide additional generic information relevant for any legal strategy considered by open collaborative projects. A summary of our thoughts and suggestions can be found at SCRIPTed 2013 Volume 10 Issue 2.
We realize that contributor agreements are one available tool out of many in an overall legal strategy for open collaborative projects, and we don’t intend to suggest that contributor agreements are necessary for all successful legal strategies. Rather, we hope to assist projects and organizations that have decided to use contributor agreements by providing a new generation of standardized terms, adaptable and easy to use for established and emerging projects in order to avoid friction and transaction costs. Through this platform we propose to explore in more detail how to make such contributor agreements suitable for multiple jurisdictions and how to offer an efficient system to mediate and move rights between contributors (developers and creators), projects, and end-users.