Community-led development "The Apache Way"
The Apache Software Foundation uses various agreements to accept contributions of software code and documentation from individuals and corporations, and to accept larger grants of existing software products.
These agreements help us achieve our goal of providing reliable and long-lived software products through collaborative, open-source software development. In all cases, contributors retain full rights to use their original contributions for any other purpose outside of Apache, while providing the ASF and its projects the right to distribute and build upon their work.
All contributors of ideas, code, or documentation to any Apache projects must complete, sign, and submit via email an Individual Contributor License Agreement (ICLA).
The purpose of this agreement is to clearly define the terms under which intellectual property has been contributed to the ASF and thereby allow us to defend the project should there be a legal dispute regarding the software. An individual must have submitted a signed ICLA to the ASF before we give them commit rights to any ASF project.
For a corporation that assigns employees to work on an Apache project, a Corporate CLA (CCLA) is available to cover contributing intellectual property via the corporation that may have been assigned as part of an employment agreement.
Note that a Corporate CLA does not remove the need for every developer to sign their own ICLA as an individual, which covers both contributions the corporation signing the CCLA owns, and those it does not own.
The CCLA legally binds the corporation, so a person with authority to enter into legal contracts on behalf of the corporation must sign it.
The ICLA an individual signs is not tied to any employer they may have, so we recommend that individuals use their personal email addresses in the contact details, rather than their @work addresses.
The ASF publishes your legal name unless you provide an alternative display name. For example, if your full name is Andrew Bernard Charles Dickens, but you wish to be known as Andrew Dickens, enter the latter as your Display Name.
We do not publish your postal address.
If you are submitting an ICLA in response to an invitation from a PMC, be sure to identify the project via the form field "notify project". Also, choose a preferred ID that is not already in use. Apache IDs must start with an alphabetic character and contain at least two additional alphanumeric characters (no special characters). You can check for IDs in use here.
When an individual or corporation decides to donate a body of existing software or documentation to one of the Apache projects, they need to execute a formal Software Grant Agreement (SGA) with the ASF. Typically, they do this after negotiating approval with the ASF Incubator or one of the PMCs, since the ASF does not accept software unless there is a viable community available to support it as part of a collaborative project.
You may sign documents by hand or by electronic signature, and submit them by email. The ASF no longer accepts submissions by postal mail or by fax.
When submitting by email, please fill in the form with a PDF viewer, then print and sign it, scan all pages into a single PDF file, and attach the PDF file to an email addressed to email@example.com.
No printer? See CLA Frequently Asked Questions
If possible, send the attachment from the email address you list in the document. Send only one attached document per email.
If you prefer to sign electronically, fill in the form, save it locally (e.g. icla.pdf), and sign the file by preparing a detached PGP signature. For example,
gpg --armor --detach-sign icla.pdf
This will create a file named
Send both the file (icla.pdf) and the signature (icla.pdf.asc) as attachments in the same email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Send only one document (file plus signature) per email.
Do not submit your public key to Apache. Instead, upload your public key to
The files you submit should be named
We do not accept zip files or other archives. We do not accept links to files; you must attach the files to the email.
Note that typing your name in the field at the bottom of the document is not signing, regardless of the font that you use.
A valid signature involves one of:
We will not accept unsigned documents.
For answers to frequently asked questions about contribution agreements, consult our CLA Frequently Asked Questions page.