This is a draft for an "Open Source Policy" which might be adopted by a company or other organization and would govern how employees or members of the organization interact with and contribute to open source software. Original discussion took place on the Apache community mailing list: http://s.apache.org/cs6
This section contains the draft of the Policy itself.
Open Source Policy
- We're a business, our goal is to serve our customers.
- Sometimes we can do that best by collaborating on appropriate open source solutions.
- We will participate as and when we feel it is appropriate for our business and the broader community.
- We will encourage our development staff to lead our engagement with open source projects.
- We will do so with full respect for other members of the community.
- We expect to have only as much influence over a project as our contributions deserve.
- We will honour all trademarks policies and licences relating to the projects.
- We will seek to ensure the ongoing sustainability of the projects through our positive and collaborative contributions.
Usage of OSS
Public discussion of OSS
Contributing to OSS
- Permission must be obtained from a supervisor prior to contributing company IP to an open source project.
- Permission may be granted for an employee to contribute to individual open source projects on an ongoing basis.
- Employees who have received authorization for ongoing contributions must consult a supervisor when there is uncertainty as to whether IP should remain proprietary or be open sourced.
- Employees are only allowed to contribute IP they wrote themselves. Collaborative works must go through the Open Source Clearance Procedure.
List of company products which require <someone> sign off on inclusion of Open Source unless under these licenses <list permissive licenses>: ______________________________________
Open Source Licenses
List of licenses which require <someone> sign off on use anywhere: ______________________________________
List of company patents: ______________________________________
Open Source Project Avoidance List
List of projects (or type of project) to avoid for specified reason: ______________________________________
Open Source Project Notification
Company email address to mail when contributing to a project (having checked above project-avoid list): ______________________________________
Company email address to mail to get CCLAs signed: ______________________________________
This section provides draft material for an FAQ which would be published independently of the Policy.
Open Source Policy FAQ
Why should our organization adopt this policy?
- It decreases costs. (Spend minimal time modifying a boilerplate document instead of drafting a custom document.)
- It lowers risk. (The policy was drafted by knowledgeable open source developers with the express goal of blessing common practice. As adoption spreads, developers will become increasingly familiar with how to comply with it effectively and its strengths and weaknesses will be probed at other organizations.)
- It lets employees and job candidates know where everyone stands, potentially yielding a recruiting advantage.
Why use open source software?
This Policy does not advocate open source solutions over proprietary solutions -- it simply helps your organization to interact with open source software safely.
That said, it's quite possible that you are already using open source software. Ask your IT people.
Why contribute to open source software?
It's good for your organization:
It's good for your employees.
- Organizations should encourage open source participation by existing employees for the same reason that they pay for conference attendance or subsidize continuing education: open source collaboration is a great way to polish your skills, to get unfiltered feedback on your code, and to keep up-to-date with evolving trends and techniques.
Use this section to record notes or to comment on other sections.