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From Ross Gardler <rgard...@apache.org>
Subject Re: Liberal corporate open source policies
Date Thu, 17 Mar 2011 21:22:57 GMT
On 17/03/2011 20:44, Marvin Humphrey wrote:
> There's a fair amount of information out there on establishing corporate open
> source policies, but not much that seems appropriate for the company profile
> I'm interested in:
>    * Web startup.
>    * Software based around an open source ecosystem.
>    * Actively recruits open source contributors to staff the engineering
>      department.
> It doesn't have to be a "web startup", but that's a good example.

This is an interesting question. I was recently asked to help with 
exactly this issue and I also struggled.

> Any pointers towards sample policies or articles that help achieve these
> objectives?  Or commentary on what aspects of typical open source polices
> noticeably constrain or don't constrain participation?

Here's what I told the company that asked me about this:

A healthy policy would look like the outline you describe, some (off the 
top of my head) statements that would be appropriate are:

- 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 

- we will seek to ensure the ongoing sustainability of the projects 
through our positive and collaborative contributions

I'd be really interested to hear peoples comments or pointers to real 
policies out there.


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