The purpose of the The Linux Foundation Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) Program is to facilitate the sharing of proprietary specifications with those open-source community developers who are actively working on projects that depend on the interfaces defined in the specifications.



A goal of the The Linux Foundation NDA Program is to be as flexible as possible in order to find the most efficient way of getting specifications into the hands of key developers. We have defined two general models.


Direct-Signing Model

In this model, The Linux Foundation facilitates the signing of an NDA directly by the open source developer. The Linux Foundation can help in the following ways:

  1. Arrange phone conferences between company representatives and community
  2. Review the NDA on behalf of the community developers.
  3. Negotiate changes to the NDA to make them consistent with open source development

Once the NDA is signed and the specification has been distributed, it is the responsibility of the company and the community developer(s) to manage the receipt, use and return of the specification.


Indirect-Signing Model

In this model, The Linux Foundation negotiates with the company to sign the NDA, giving The Linux Foundation access to the required specification. Under this model The Linux Foundation will:

  1. Ensure the NDA is consistent with open-source development processes.
  2. Indicate who are the intended recipients of the specifications.
  3. Sign an independent contractor agreement with the community developer(s). The
    purpose of the contract will NOT be for hiring or paying the community developers for
    any services. It will be strictly for the purposes of providing the developer with a copy
    of the specification covered under the NDA on terms mutually agreeable to the
    company, The Linux Foundation and the developer.

The Linux Foundation will be responsible managing the receipt, use and return of the specification, with the cooperation and assistance of the developer.


How to Request Services from The Linux Foundation

Companies or community developers can request help in signing NDAs and delivering or receiving specifications by sending a request, either electronically or in writing, to the current The Linux Foundation Engineering Director. The request must include:

  1. The name of the company or entity that owns the specification.
  2. A contact name at the company, if the requester knows one.
  3. The names of community developers needing access to the specification.
  4. The name of the specification.
  5. A brief explanation of why the specification is needed by the community developer.

Third Party Companies and Developers may be asked for additional information. LF will review inbound requests and will make a final decision following consultation with its Technical Advisory Board. All decisions are final and may be made in the sole discretion of LF.

You can download the NDAs for developers here or for contributors here.