Anti-CLA action: what to do when you encounter a CLA

Products of the Qt Company, notably Qt and QtCreator.

The “Direct action” advice falls apart here: those are big projects relative to the number of people interested in maintaining them. When Qt Company started lagging releases, KDE still didn’t decide to fork.

I’m still kinda interested in forking QtCreator and adding Rust debugging support, but I don’t have enough time to maintain a fork on my own. Any collaborators?

I could contribute patches to downstream distros, but even if they take it, what happens next - what’s the mechanism of change? Will they be interested in maintaining the patches forever? If patches keep appearing, how likely is it that the distro stops accepting them versus convinces the upstream to drop CLA?