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[] Upcoming Changes to our Contributor and Committer Agreements


As I am sure you have heard, Java EE is migrating to the Eclipse Foundation and we are about to begin hosting projects that are explicitly intended to develop specifications.  This is new step for us, and we think it is a great evolution in our role of stewardship of commercial open source initiatives. 

As part of this migration from Java EE to Jakarta EE we are replacing the JCP’s specification process for all future specs versions related to enterprise Java. Our new vendor neutral Eclipse Foundation Specification Process, or EFSP for short, is different in many ways including that it takes a “code first” approach.  The EFSP is based on the Eclipse Development Process, which has served as the defining process for all of our 350+ projects to date.  For more information, feel free to follow the mailing list. 

However, to support these new specification projects, it is necessary that we update the agreements that govern contributions and commits made to our projects.  Specifically, we want to make it clear that contributions to Eclipse projects could someday be used to develop specifications. I assume that most folks would have expected that this was already obvious when they contributed to an open source project, however we decided that it was best practice to make this explicit in all of our contributions agreements.

To implement this change requires that we update each and every agreement we have relating to contributions and commits.  This is a massive -- and disruptive -- undertaking, as it requires all of these agreements get updated and re-signed. Since we need to overhaul our contribution agreements, we are also taking this opportunity to fix a few things. In particular, our committers will know that up until now they’ve been required to be covered by both a committer agreement and the ECA. We’re going to fix that in both the ICA and MCA so committers will no longer have to personally sign an ECA. We are also going to implementing electronic signatures for ICAs and MCAs using HelloSign. So going forward there is going to be a little less paper involved in being a committer.

To make this happen, our staff will be reaching out personally to those of you who need to update your agreement.  This will take a number of months, as this involves hundreds of agreements. We are committed to make this update happen in as smooth a fashion as possible and to have virtually no disruption to the flow of contributions being made.  We are hopeful that you will be supportive of the change, and to react quickly and favorably when we do contact you.

Below you will find details of the updates coming to the various agreements.  I encourage you to review these details, and to support us in updating these agreements. I also encourage you to read my recent blog, which has further details.  Of course, we would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have that we haven’t thought of.  Questions can be directed to license@xxxxxxxxxxx.

Thank you in advance!


Updates are being made to each of the Member Committer Agreement, the Individual Committer Agreement, and the Eclipse Contribution Agreement.  The updates and impact of each of these is listed below.

Member Committer Agreements (MCA)

The contributions made by most committers in our community are covered by a Member Committer Agreement.  These are agreements between a member company and Eclipse Foundation.  We will be reaching out to the Company Representative from each of these companies to have them update the agreement.  If you are the Company Rep, please have the agreement reviewed and returned to us to enable your employees who are committers to continue to contribute to their projects. 

To better serve our member companies, we are also modifying the Member Committer Agreement to also cover contributions from all employees of your company.  This will streamline the process for enabling employees to contribute to Eclipse projects, and avoid you from having to complete paperwork to support each new contributor.  We think this is a significant improvement, and hope you will be supportive.

For committers who work for companies with a Member Committer Agreement, there is no action required by you.  You will simply be covered by the updated agreement once it is executed.

Finally, we encourage those companies that do not already have a Member Committer Agreement in place to execute the Agreement.  It’s a much more efficient means to have the contributions made by your employees be managed and recognized. 

Individual Committer Agreement (ICA)

Many committers’ contributions are covered under an Individual Committer Agreement.  With these agreements, the committer has entered into a direct agreement with the Foundation.

We will be reaching out to each committer who has previously executed an ICA with us to have you update your agreement. 

Eclipse Contributor Agreement (ECA)
All contributions made by non-committers to any Eclipse project are done under the cover of an Eclipse Contributor Agreement.  Over the years, thousand of contributors have executed these agreements to enable them to be a part of the vibrant Eclipse community. 

We will be reaching out to every contributor over the coming months to have them update their contribution agreement. 


Mike Milinkovich

Executive Director | Eclipse Foundation, Inc.



+1.613.220.3223 (m)

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