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Eclipse Contributor Agreement (ECA) FAQ

Last updated August 10, 2016

The Eclipse Contributor Agreement (ECA) is a key document in the process of managing intellectual property contributions to Eclipse projects. This FAQ is intended to help explain what they are, and how they are used.

The purpose of the ECA is to provide a written record that you have agreed to provide your contributions of code and documentation under the licenses used by the Eclipse project(s) you're contributing to. It also makes it clear that you are promising that what you are contributing to Eclipse is code that you wrote, and you have the necessary rights to contribute it to our projects. And finally, it documents a commitment from you that your open source contributions will be permanently on the public record.
It's basically about documenting the provenance of all of the intellectual property coming into Eclipse. We want to have a clear record that you have agreed to the terms under which the Eclipse community has agreed to accept contributions.
No. The ECA does not include a license or assignment to the Eclipse Foundation. Unlike many other open source communities or projects, Eclipse simply wants you to license your contributions under the open source license(s) used by the project. So you (or your employer) will continue to own your code.
As part of our open source project recordkeeping, we want to be able to link every line of code to the people who contributed them. In the unlikely event of a dispute over authorship or copyright provenance, Eclipse needs to be able to demonstrate when the code arrived at Eclipse, how we acquired the rights to that code, and who wrote it
The ECA is good for three years, after which it will be expired and you will be asked to complete a new one. However, if your personal information changes (e.g. your address or your employer), we ask that you invalidate your current ECA and complete a new one.
No. Your Committer Agreement is the agreement that allows you to have write access to the Eclipse Foundation source code repositories. The ECA is intended for people who are not committers who wish to make contributions to Eclipse projects.
Maybe. You do not need to sign a ECA to work on the projects for which you are a committer. However, if you want to make contributions to an Eclipse project for which you are not a committer, you will need a ECA.
Nothing, except you won't be allowed to contribute to open source projects at Eclipse
We want to make it easier for you to contribute to Eclipse projects. Previously, we have been asking contributors to agree to the equivalent of the ECA via Bugzilla or Gerrit on each and every contribution. Moving to ECAs is intended to streamline that process, and make it easier for contributions to be accepted by Eclipse projects.
Log into the Eclipse projects forge (you will need to create an account with the Eclipse Foundation if you have not already done so); click on "Eclipse Contributor Agreement"; and Complete the form. Be sure to use the same email address when you register for the account that you intend to use on Git commit records.
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To complete and submit a ECA, log into the Eclipse projects forge (you will need to create an account with the Eclipse Foundation if you have not already done so); click on "Eclipse Contributor Agreement"; and Complete the form. Be sure to use the same email address when you register for the account that you intend to use when you commit to Git.

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