I am working on an open-source software project in academia. It is currently licensed under a modified BSD-style license that allows only unmodified, non-commercial usage. We are currently considering asking all (past and present) contributors to sign a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) allowing us to re-license the software in the future. In particular, we would like to have the option to make it commerically available.

We have a draft CLA (generated with the help of Harmony Agreements 1) that states:

We agree to license the Contribution only under the terms of the license or licenses which We are using on the Submission Date for the Material or any licenses which are approved by the Open Source Initiative [...].

We are unsure if this would allow us to do what we would like. In particular, we are wondering if this allows us to sell e.g. an MIT license for the software to external entities in exchange for monetary compensation and/or additional conditions? Is the act of "selling a license" via a contract considered licensing the contribution under the terms of said contract?

Any help would be gladly appreciated.


If you have the permission of all the people who contributed code, you can change the license.

However, you should probably do that now so you don't have to keep track of tons of people.

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