From Second Life Wiki
- Why does the Second Life Viewer Project have a Contribution Agreement?
- Most well run open source projects have some kind of contribution agreement in order to make an explicit agreement between the project and the contributors about how contributions can be used and to protect all parties’ interests. Ours exists to ensure that the Second Life Viewer Project and Linden Lab have a clear record of the provenance of the code base and be able to manage it for everyone’s benefit in the still-evolving legal environment of open source software. Its terms protect both Linden Lab and Contributors by explicitly spelling out the rights of each with respect to contributions.
- Do I really have to provide all my real life identity information, and will that be made public?
- Yes, you must provide your real life identity. This agreement is a contract, and one cannot enter into a contract with an anonymous party or a virtual world avatar (at least not yet, and as enthusiastic as we are about the future of Virtual Reality, we're not ready to pioneer that aspect at this time).
- Does this agreement mean that I give up my copyright to my contribution?
- No, you retain your copyright, but you also assign a copyright to Linden Lab and make certain agreements regarding how both you and Linden Lab may exercise the rights of a copyright holder. See especially clause 2 of the Contribution Agreement.
- If I contribute to a Third Party Viewer or publish code under an open source license in my own viewer, does that also make it a Contribution under this agreement?