Legal and Licensing

You (or your employer) retains copyright on everything you contribute - the Foundation receives your contribution under a license agreement (i.e. the Foundation's CLA).  We do not require copyright assignment.

Please refer to the contribution page for more details on how the Foundation handles your contribution from a legal perspective.

The FINOS Intellectual Property Policy requires that all software projects managed by the Foundation be licensed under the terms of the Apache License 2.0 unless another license is explicitly approved by the Board.

For standard projects the Governing Board has approved the Community Specification process as an approved technical charter.

The Board’s decision to use Apache 2 as the “default” license for FINOS projects was informed primarily by the following characteristics:

  • It is a permissive license, i.e. it does not require anyone to contribute their modifications back to FINOS. While FINOS recognizes the important role that reciprocal licenses such as the GNU General Public License can play in promoting equity between contributors, our members generally prefer to consume permissively licensed code. We’re confident that the benefits of active participation in FINOS projects are sufficient incentive to contributors.
  • It’s widely adopted. Apache 2.0 is used by high-profile, commercially significant open source software projects published by open source communities (most notably the Apache Software Foundation) and major corporations (including Google, Apple, GitHub, Facebook, Microsoft, and Adobe). Software IP attorneys (those reviewing licenses for prospective users, contributors, and members) are generally familiar and comfortable with it, as well as with the accompanying Apache Corporate and Individual Contributor License Agreements.
  • It’s concise and unambiguous. While some free and open source software licenses address political, ethical, and moral issues, reflecting the focus of their authors and users, Apache 2.0 is a straightforward software license raising few interpretive issues. In particular, it explicitly and fairly addresses the licensing of patents: the license from contributors includes any patent claims implicated by their contributions, but not by code contributed by others.

Marketing, Branding, Trademarks

FINOS enthusiastically encourages contributors to promote their participation in Foundation activities. However, any reference to a FINOS or FINOS project mark must be accurate and not misleading. For example, we do not permit third parties to advertise membership in FINOS projects when they have not actually contributed to them, or to promote adoption of a FINOS standard when their implementation is incomplete. Please review our Trademark Guidelines for more information about permissible uses of FINOS project marks.

In addition, our active participation policy provides that only participants that meet our criteria for “active participation” in a project are entitled to be mentioned as participants or contributors in FINOS’s own promotional materials regarding that project.

Note: The above also applies to the now deprecated concept of Programs.

As a rule, contributor trademarks should not appear in project, program, application, or filenames, or anywhere else in project repositories. The exceptions are that they are appropriate in code comments reflecting copyright notices and other appropriate legal notices, commit messages, and lists of contributors (e.g. a CONTRIBUTING or  file). Likewise, as stated above, in some circumstances it is appropriate for contributors' names and logos to appear on program/project web pages listing contributors or referring to particular contributions.


In keeping with the open source nature of the Foundation, public (unauthenticated) archives are available for most email groups at (for example, for projects and working groups and PMCs). However, PMCs are provided also with private lists, such as * lists to discuss sensitive matters (e.g. alleged Code of Conduct violations). 

Rosters of participants to the mailing lists are only available for members of a specific mailing list at, provided they have a valid Google account.

Open Source Projects 

The Foundation maintains a centralized directory of contributors who have a legal framework (CLA) to contribute to FINOS project, but Project Maintainers retain full control over your project, including who has commit rights to the code (with one caveat - see the note at right).  In other words no one can commit directly to your project until / unless you approve them to do so. See how we manage project permissions and collaboration on Github.

Of course you should expect pull requests to come in from anywhere, and you are expected to triage those in a timely fashion.

Note: the Foundation manages a GitHub account (finos-admin) that also has implicit commit rights to your project, by virtue of being the administrator of all Program Github organizations. However Foundation staff do not use this account for repository-level activities except in extraordinary circumstances, and even then will attempt to contact the project team and/or the PMC before doing so.

No. Developers (along with systems engineers, designers, product mangers) come from the community. We do though help promote your project to encourage the community to contribute to it via pull requests. Based on the quality and volume of those contributions you may then choose to grant some or all of those contributors commit rights to your project.

No - we encourage contributors to host as many projects with the Foundation as they wish, provided they go through the contribution process.

The Foundation prefers projects that are functionally cohesive i.e. that focus on solving a distinct business problem.  While we will accept codebases that contain a number of unrelated solutions, it is probable that such projects will need to be split up into multiple projects in order to be eligible for release.  In these cases any shared code may also need to be refactored into its own repository (see Adding a New Repository to your Project for details on that process), and then consumed via whatever library dependency management mechanism is provided by your language and/or build toolchain.

As of July 2019, Javascript (38.5%), Java (34.6%), Python (12.5%) and TypeScript (11.5%) are the most commonly used languages across FINOS projects. See our Project and Working Group Catalogue for more information on languages used across FINOS programs. 

As of July 2019, 46% of active contributors are FINOS members, so about half of the active participants come from FINOS members, the other half from non-members participating organizations.

Yes, you can find information related to this on the Code Validation section.

Yes, FINOS can redistribute binaries. We have nuget, npmjs, maven central and pypi repositories for that purpose.


Our Programs Meeting Calendar collects all of our online meetings in a calendar format you can easily add to your personal calendar. Our website events page collects instead all of our in person hosted events and events FINOS participates in, as well as marketplace events relevant to our Community.

Yes, by default project and SIGs meetings are open to anyone who wishes to participate. However, especially during formation stage, projects and SIGs may choose to restrict attendance based on objective and published criteria, but are still expected to observe the FINOS Collaborative PrinciplesMeeting Procedures and recommended to follow Branding Guidelines. 

Once a project is out of the optional forming stage and enters incubation, it is encouraged to adopt an "open door" policy for maximum transparency and inclusion of all contributors. There is nothing in our Governance that restricts attendance to meetings and all meetings in the Foundation have to comply with FINOS Collaborative Principles and Meeting Procedures.


Please see the section on minutes in the Meetings and Decision Making section of the Community Handbook.

According to the FINOS minutes policy:

The minutes of each meeting should capture all of the following:

  1. Roll call - everyone who attended the meeting
  2. For each agenda item:
    1. A brief summary of the matter discussed (one sentence is often enough)
    2. Any significant positions/proposals put forward (one sentence each is often enough)
    3. A record of any decisions made or actions taken, including a record of the vote (i.e. votes in favor, votes against, and abstentions)
  3. Any action items assigned, including the assignee and the deadline (if any)

According to the FINOS minutes policy:

Minutes should not attribute any statement to an individual or organization without their express prior approval. This is to ensure that people feel free to speak candidly."

Yes, FINOS automatically captures a private recording of scheduled working group meetings. The primary purpose of these recordings is to make meeting transcripts available to working group chairs for the purpose of preparing minutes. Recordings are not made available to anyone outside the Foundation, unless working group members have been notified in advance (such as when a guest presentation is being recorded).