For the past few years, OpenSimulator has required any core developer and anybody contributing significant feature code
or large patches to submit a Contributor's License Agreement (CLA) to the Overte foundation.
This was inspired by IBM when they were involved. I believe their extremely conservative view of licensing was behind
the ban on OpenSimulator committers from looking at (GPL, then LGPL) viewer code. The argument was that code committed
to OpenSimulator that was extremely similar to viewer code could arguably be derived copyright from the viewer code. It
would both have to be GPL'd (causing difficulties for OpenSimulator) and be associated with damages. All this is highly
theoretical and has never been tested legally to my knowledge.
Nonetheless, this was one factor in making us go down the route of establishing Overte and the requirement for
contributors to submit the CLA. The CLA also has Apache-like language requiring code committers to license any patents
they may hold over those contributions.
Much of this was done shortly after the peak of Second Life hype. But it also has costs in terms of constructing a
barrier to contributions and the organization which received those CLAs is going away. Perhaps there was some value in
the patent statements but personally don't feel that anybody is going to be making the kind of money from OpenSimulator
that would attract any patent trolls.
Therefore, after a core discussion we have decided that CLAs are no longer required for any code contributions. This is
with immediate effect.