ProceduresThe PSF has is now asking all past and future contributors to sign a Contributor Agreement.
With these forms, contributors formally license their contribution to the PSF, under an open source license (the "Initial License"). Currently, we accept contributions under the following initial licenses:
This agreement solves, for the PSF, the major issue of relicensing in open source software: Formally, most licenses at most allow for relicensing the software on the same terms as the original license. With the license form, PSF receives the permission to relicense the software under a different (open source) license than the initial license - and indeed we distribute Python under the Python license, not under one of the initial licenses.
At the same time, contributors remain copyright holders of their contributions - they are not asked to assign the copyright to the PSF. They only formally confirm the terms under which they made their contribution available to the PSF.
The choice of initial license originates from the advice of our lawyer: the initial licenses should be open source, they should be clear and explicit in what they permit, and they should not only include a copyright grant (in particular to reproduce and prepare derivative works), but also a license grant to all relevant patents that the contributor holds. As most contributors do not hold any patents (at least none relevant for the contribution), the patent grant is likely irrelevant for most contributors.
Fore more information on licensing and the PSF contribution process, please see the PSF Licensing FAQ.
Submission instructionsWe currently accept contributor forms either through postal mail, or through fax. Please print a copy of the form, fill out your name, address, and initial license, sign it, and send postal mail to
Python Software Foundationor send it by fax to +1 858 712 8966
As the form is designed for future contributions, we ask past contributors to state that their past contributions are also covered under the form; we have one such form for past contributions to Python and one form for Jython.
The Title field needs to be filled out only if you are acting for a legal entity (e.g. president of some company), i.e. you are filling out the form for the entity, not for yourself. If you do, fill in the position that you are holding within that organization.
In order to give Python developers ready access to the list of forms received, we will publish the names (but not the addresses) of all contributors in the Python source code repository.
If you have any questions, please mail us firstname.lastname@example.org