[Incubator] labs project assigning copyright

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Wed Jun 3 17:52:15 EDT 2009

Tim Schaub wrote:
> Hello-
> GeoExt is project for building ExtJS based applications with OpenLayers 
> functionality.  I read through the OSGeo Labs information and added the 
> project to the list [1].
> The GeoExt project steering committee would like to assign copyright for 
> the GeoExt code base to OSGeo.  The Labs page suggests that this could 
> be done by "Asking the incubation committee and doing it".
> If that is an acceptable way getting approval for assigning copyright, 
> please consider this an official request: can we please assign copyright 
> for the GeoExt code base to OSGeo?
> I have put together a Contributor Agreement [2] and will collect 
> signatures from our contributors if this is acceptable.  The agreement 
> is based on the GeoTools template.  Our code will be distributed with a 
> BSD license.
> Thank you for any answers you can provide.  For previous discussion on 
> the subject, see the OSGeo-Discuss list [3].  Also, if anybody has any 
> other suggestions on how this should be done, please let me know.  We're 
> hoping to do an initial release in the next week and would like to have 
> this issue settled.

Tim (and Tyler),

It has been my opinion that assignment to OSGeo can be done as long as Tyler
is willing to collect the assignment documents and store them as
secretary.  I do not particularly think the incubation committee needs to
approve it unless Tyler prefers that.

Cameron brings up an interesting point with regard to keeping the documents
in SVN as scanned documents.  On the one hand, in some venues it is necessary
to have a physically signed document, but we actually take these submissions
by fax which is digital so presumably a digital scan of a physical document
is sufficient.  In this case it might be a good practice for us to keep the
documents in the OSGeo SVN.  This would mean we could dispense with Tyler
having to take any action and it would give much improved transparency.

In light of this, I would like to suggest the following procedure:

  o Projects wishing to assign copyright to the foundation should seek the
    agreement of the current OSGeo Secretary (currently Tyler), who if they
    are doubtful could seek input from the board.  For project in incubation
    or full OSGeo projects it should be automatic.

  o Agreements should all be stored in scanned format in the OSGeo SVN.
    We can give out SVN commit access to one or two representatives of each
    project so they can actually add the agreements themselves after some

  o Tyler should collect existing agreements he has on file, and put them
    into SVN for safekeeping and transparency.

Tyler - any thoughts?

Pending feedback, I'd be interested in the incubator recommending this
procedure to the board for approval and would be willing to prepare such
a motion.

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at pobox.com
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
and watch the world go round - Rush    | Geospatial Programmer for Rent

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