Node.js has inherited many things from our largest dependency V8, we’ve adopted their build system GYP, we use their test runner (which is unfortunately in python), and when we were structuring the project we brought along the Contributor License Agreement (CLA) that Google uses to manage contributions for Chromium and V8. The CLA is there as a way for a project to audit itself and to give itself the opportunity to relicense itself in the future if necessary. Node.js though is distributed under the venerable MIT license, and that’s not going to change. The MIT license is one of the most permissible open source licenses out there, and has fostered a ton of development with Node.js and we want that to continue.
In an effort to make it easier for users to contribute to Node.js the project has decided to lift the requirement of signing the CLA before contributions are eligible for integration. Having to sign the CLA could at times be a stumbling block for a contribution. It could involve a long conversation with your legal department to ultimately contribute typo corrections.
Node.js Notes from the Road: http://blog.nodejs.org/2014/06/11/notes-from-the-road/