In order for the Archivematica development team to accept any patches or code commits, contributors must first sign this Contributor Agreement.
Why do I have to sign a Contributor's Agreement?
One of the key challenges for open source software is to support a collaborative development environment while protecting the rights of contributors and users over the long-term. Unifying Archivematica copyrights through contributor agreements is the best way to protect the availability and sustainability of Archivematica over the long-term as free and open-source software. In all cases, contributors who sign the Contributor's Agreement retain full rights to use their original contributions for any other purpose outside of Archivematica, while enabling Artefactual Systems, any successor Foundation which may eventually take over responsibility for Archivematica, and the wider Archivematica community to benefit from their collaboration and contributions in this open source project.
Artefactual Systems has made the decision and has a proven track record of making our intellectual property available to the community at large. By standardizing contributions on these agreements the Archivematica intellectual property position does not become too complicated. This ensures our resources are devoted to making our project the best they can be, rather than fighting legal battles over contributions.