CLA Commons

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CLA Commons wants to simplify open source Contributor License Agreements for both developers and projects.

As a developer, you may have been asked to sign a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) at one point or another. These legal documents can be confusing and intimidating, especially when you just want to contribute code to make a product or service better.

What if there were a way to make the equivalent for CLAs of what Creative Commons is for copyright ( The aim of this project is to do just that.

The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society is bringing lawyers, researchers, and technologists together at Harvard Law School to draft simple “flavors” of CLA documents. Our Cyberlaw Clinic ( is writing easy-to-understand FAQs, and designing iconography to best simplify these legal agreements. The legal work is taken care of—all CLA Commons needs is to modify the current CLAhub app.

Ideally, we want the CLA Commons app (currently CLAhub) to authenticate with a project’s Github account and create a file containing the CLA text selected via the app. We also want the app to verify that a contributor has “signed” a file by adding their Github username before submitting a pull request. We want this process to take place without storing any personally identifiable information (PII) within the CLA Commons database, unlike in the current CLAhub system. We also would like to find a way to migrate the existing PII in the CLAhub database to the new structure in a way that minimally impacts current users of the CLAhub app.
More info:
Github repo:

Ideal candidate criteria:

CLA Commons is interested in candidates with experience in Ruby and the Github API ( For this project, we’re looking for a creative programmer to tackle vexing design questions and help bring CLA Commons to life. With regards to modifying the the original CLAhub app, we have a short list of high, medium, and low priority modifications in mind. However, we encourage the GSoC intern to also think up feature ideas that meet his/her interests.