Lightbend copyright assignment required for Scala contributions?

Hi all,

I’ve proposed my first (small!) contribution to the standard lib, IterableOps.groupFlatMap - this is a natural counterpart of groupMap and the PR is here if anybody would like to take a look :slight_smile:

However, my main question is this: I’ve been asked to assign the copyright for this to EPFL, which seems logical, but also to Lightbend, which surprised me. I understand they occupy a special place in the Scala ecosystem, but can somebody confirm if this is correct?

@SethTisue has been very helpful in pointing me towards the full text of the Scala CLA but as he’s pointed out on the PR comments, this only mentions EPFL.

Many thanks!



Obligatory disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer, I’m just summarizing second hand information. I’d be very glad if others can point out mistakes in my reply.

As far as I know, by signing the Scala CLA you are not giving away your copyright. You are instead licencing your work to EPFL. Point 2 of the CLA:

You hereby grant to EPFL and to recipients of software distributed by EPFL a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable copyright license to reproduce, prepare derivative works of, publicly display, publicly perform, sublicense, and distribute Your Contributions and such derivative works.

I think one practical impact of signing the CLA is that you give EPFL the right to change the lincense of Scala (“sublicense”), including your contribution, to a license that is not compatible with Apache 2.0 (e.g., GPL).

See also

Lightbend is legally not involved in the Scala CLA. Lightbend only provides the technical infrastructure to sign the CLA online.

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The GPLv3 is compatible with Apache 2.0, but GPLv2 is not.