the next few days I am going to make a series of postings about the
OpenNTF IP process. Today's comments will be on moving projects to
the Catalog. Tomorrow I will be discussing the Best Open Source
Awards, and on Thursday more on how we can move forward faster in the
GPL Catalog. Please feel free to comment.
Its taken some
time, but we now have the process working where projects are being
vetted and placed into the Apache and GPL Catalogs. We still have
some kinks to get out of the system, but projects are being scanned,
poked, and prodded. Issues are being sent to the authors. Authors
are revising their releases to remove the issues. There are
currently 13 projects in the pipeline, three of which seem to be
close to release.
But it is a slow
process, and while a number of Apache-licensed projects have made it
into the Catalog, only one GPL project has done so. Why is that?
a project to be accepted into the Catalog, we want to be sure that we
have the right to publish every line of code in a project – under a
license compatible with the main project license. So, we scan
through, looking for copyrights and other indications that code came
from someone other than the author. And, of course, in an open
source environment, people do use open source code written by others.
So, what do we do when we find such code:
it is code with clear origins, and clear license that is compatible
with the overall license of the project, then fine. We simply
suggest that the author note the existence of the code and license
in a Notice file at the root of the zip. An example of this might
be an MIT-licensed or BSD-licensed in either an Apache or
some of the code is proprietary, we ask that it be placed under an
open source license or removed altogether
there are copyright statements, without any license info, then we
ask where this code came from and what license it is under.
And of course,
all the source required to create the binary must be included. The
is a legal requirement under the GPL.
So far, the GPL
submissions have tended to have included more pre-existing open
source code, and so have had more IP issues to deal with. GPL is a
little tricky in that it is not compatible with a number of other
open source licenses. (GPLv2 and GPLv3, for example, are not
compatible, you are not permitted to mix code licensed under those
two licenses in the same project.)
any case, we are moving forward and releasing code that has gone
through a measure of IP vetting – raising the bar for OpenNTF code.