Markus Wolff takes a look at a part of the setup surrounding the Zend Framework in this blog post today - the Framework's CLA.
Contributors to the Zend Framework must first sign a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) before they're allowed to commit anything. This is claimed to make the Zend Framework "IP clean", so big corporations have no problem adopting it.
I've never believed in this proclaimed need of being "IP clean". Maybe that's because stealing someone's proprietary code never came to mind - am I just to good a person? However, in a world where in certain strange countries (I won't drop any names here) you can actually patent software - or worse, ideas - it is increasingly difficult to write a single line of code that you can be sure of not violating anyone else's so-called intellectual property.
He quotes from the CLA's FAQ on the Framework site about the protection this CLA offers to both the Framework and to the developers that contribute to it.
His rebuttal is one of "how can this be enforced?", which, of course, he realizes is just not possible. He casts a "marketing first" light on the CLA, suggesting that it's just a way to help sell it to corporations.