In case you missed it, the membership of KDE e.V. have adopted a new legal instrument: a Fiduciary License Agreement. You can read more about it on theDot and Linux Weekly News.
So ... what does it mean?
Well, the FLA, or Fiduciary License Agreement, allows a contributor to grant rights to KDE e.V. over their contributions to the project. The extent of what is covered is defined by the signatory in the agreement and the whole thing is very carefully put together to keep KDE e.V. from doing Bad Things(tm) such as taking the code proprietary or from the contributor losing all rights to all work they ever do.
This will allow KDE e.V. to act on behalf of contributors if necessary, for example when we need to relicense code and the contributor can't be found (the GPLv3-compatibility relicensing effort from this last year is a good example of such a scenario) or if (heaven forbid) we ever end up in court over a licensing violation. These kinds of actions can only be taken by a person or entity that has the legal right to do so, and the FLA grants those rights to KDE e.V.
Nobody is required to sign an FLA, of course, and signing an FLA will never be a precondition to contributing to KDE in any way. This is strictly an opt-in service provided by KDE e.V. for those who wish to avail themselves of it.
The FLA has been the result of over a year's effort, mostly on the part of Adriaan "The Wookie" de Groot and Shane of the FSFE, our patient and diligent liaison in these matters who also attended Akademy this year (and took part in a really interesting panel session, to boot). We have the Free Software Foundation Europe to thank in large part for the FLA. Not only did we base our FLA off of theirs, we utilized the Legal Eagles (as we like to refer to their team of legal experts) extensively to refine and explain the document.
Of course, it all came down to the KDE e.V. membership who, at this year's general assembly gave the FLA their overwhelming approval in a vote taken on whether to adopt this legal instrument or not.
There are a couple of i's to dot and t's to cross, but then the documents will be available on the KDE e.V. website. As soon as that happens, I'll be signing a copy myself so that no matter what happens to me, my code or KDE there will be a way to manage the legal details of my contributions.