If you want to contribute code or other materials to a VMware open source project will be asked to agree to an Individual Contributor License Agreement (ICLA) or a Corporate Contributor License Agreement (CCLA).

The purpose of the contributor license agreement is to provide a written record that you (or your employer) have agreed to provide your contributions of code and material under the license(s) governing the VMware project. The contributor agreement also serves to document that the code and material you are contributing was written by you or is material that you have the right to contribute to the VMware project.

In the future, should VMware be asked to defend its right to distribute a particular piece of code you contributed, the contributor agreement serves to document that you created the code, were authorized to contribute the code to the VMware project, and agreed to use of the code you contributed in the VMware project.

This not only protects VMware, but also the users of the Open Source project. Without a complete record of authorizations for all contributions, VMware could be forced to cease distribution of the software which would in turn have a negative impact on users of the software.

It depends on the agreement but in the majority of cases the answer is no. The majority of VMware contributor license agreements are license agreements meaning you (or your employer) are giving VMware a license or permission to use and distribute your contributions. You (or your employer) maintain ownership of your contribution and you do not give up your rights to use your contribution elsewhere.

Individual Contributor License Agreement (ICLA): If you, in your personal capacity (not your employer), owns the copyright in your contribution then you should submit an ICLA.

Corporate Contributor Agreement (CCLA): If any of your contributions to a project are created in the course of your employment, they may be owned by your employer. In this case you should submit a CCLA. When you submit a CCLA VMware will ask you to provide the email address of one of your employer's attorneys. VMware will send an email to your attorney asking him/her to confirm that you are authorized to agree to the CCLA on behalf of your employer.

You only need to submit a contributor license agreement (CLA) if you want to submit code or other material to the project. If you are making a contribution to a VMware project hosted on GitHub, you will submit a pull request (PR). If you do not have a CLA on file with VMware, you will see a comment in the PR requesting that you fill out the agreement. Your PR will not be reviewed until you have submitted a CLA.
Usually no. Once VMware has accepted the contributor license agreement (CLA) you submitted it is valid for all VMware open source projects that use the same CLA. If the CLA changes, or if you submit a contribution to a project that uses a different CLA, you may be asked to agree to the new CLA.
No. The VMware contributor license agreement is intended to protect the open source community by ensuring that once you make a contribution that contribution can be used forever. You cannot withdraw prior contributions you made to a VMware project. This protects the whole community, allowing VMware and downstream users of the code to rely on it. However, you can stop contributing to a project at any time.
Not necessarily. The decision to incorporate a contribution you have submitted is at the discretion of the project maintainer(s).
Should someone ever dispute the authorship of the code you have contributed, VMware needs the ability to establish who contributed the code and when it was contributed to a VMware project.
CLA Portal FAQ 2016Feb21