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Plugin License & Copyright

My sincere apologies to everybody if I open up a discussion that might spoil the spirit. I think it has to be clear up front before we really run into legal problems.

I learned that plugins from the community made public for Clearspace have to be governed by ASF. What about plugins for Openfire and Spark? Who owns the copyright? Can they be either ASF, GPL or any other open source licenses? Any specific preference? Reasons and justifications for that?

I’m also not really clear about the difference between plugins/patches/bug-fixes posted with or without signing Jive’s contributor forms.

Actually, plugins for Clearspace can be licensed under a variety of licenses. We’ve asked that the ones posted to the community be under an open source license (Apache is just a suggestion). We really did this to prevent people trying to use the community to sell their proprietary plugins. If you want, you can create a Clearspace plugin, license it under the XYZ proprietary license and sell it on your website.

What do the rest of you think? Do we want to request that the plugins posted to the Ignite community plugin space be under an open source license or leave it open for people who want to post proprietary plugins?

I forgot to answer the copyright question. Whoever created the plugin owns the copyright (copyright is a completely separate issue from licensing).

If I create a plugin as part of my job, Jive owns the copyright. If aznidin creates a plugin, he (or his company) would own the copyright.

Heh… you also forgot to answer this:

I’m also not really clear about the difference between plugins/patches/bug-fixes posted with or without signing Jive’s contributor forms.

Any code that gets into the official code base has to be “clean” from an intellectual property standpoint so that integrity of the project is protected. So, general policies:

  • Any contributions to core server code or patches need to have a Contributor Agreement.

  • Same applies for the major plugins that are most important to the community (we want those to be protected too).

  • Minor plugins or plugins not hosted on igniterealtime definitely don’t need the agreement.

Let me know if any of the above doesn’t make sense!

Thanks,

Matt

Hi Matt,

“Any contributions to core server code or patches need to have a Contributor Agreement.” does not make sense (:

Take a look at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/ and tell me why you can’t accept Public Domain contributions. I’ll quote the last lines so you don’t need to read the full license: “Dedicator recognizes that, once placed in the public domain, the Work may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, used, modified, built upon, or otherwise exploited by anyone for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and in any way, including by methods that have not yet been invented or conceived.” Especially for the diff of a patch this makes it for the publisher more easy to supply the patch to you instead of downloading, printing, signing and faxing the Contributor Agreement to you.

And I may quote http://www.igniterealtime.org/builds/openfire/docs/latest/documentation/plugin-d ev-guide.html

"What license agreement are plugins subject to?

Because Openfire is released under the Open Source GPL license, any plugins developed must also be released under the GPL or a compatible Open Source license if you distribute the plugins outside your organization. It is a violation of the license agreement to create plugins for distribution that are not Open Source. Please visit Jive Software if you need different licensing terms for Openfire, including the right to create commercial plugins."

One could add a “Who owns the copyright?” section with the answer from above.

LG

LG,

Technically you’re totally correct that donating something as public domain would be acceptable as well. However, I’m not sure why anyone would want to do that vs contrib agreement. Plus it’s simpler for us from a tracking perspective to just use one agreement.

Plugins – because they run in-line with the server, that means they are subject to the terms of the GPL. Our view is that you could do any compatible license as well.

Regards,

Matt

Matt,

Then in what way can GPL be converted to:

Please visit Jive Software if you need different licensing terms for Openfire, including the right to create commercial plugins.

Thanks.

AZ

Dawn,

dawn wrote:

What do the rest of you think? Do we want to request that the plugins posted to the Ignite community plugin space be under an open source license or leave it open for people who want to post proprietary plugins?

If you ask me, I would say that you leave it open. If openness is so much of the concern, might as well take out everything that is commercial including Openfire Enterprise Support space and place it somewhere else more appropriate. I’d like to see participations from everbody regardless of the purpose so that I have more plugins to choose from. In fact, commercial plugins could add up to the push factor for Openfire to become more than what it is now. The same rationale should be applicable to Clearspace.

My 2 cents.

Hi Matt,

if you could make an online form where one can enter everything needed and sign the agreement online in a way that you accept would make it much more easy to sign it. Giving the users who sign it the possible right to get SNV access and JIRA access may be nice.

As long as (my) alpha or beta plugins are more a proof-of-concept than a 100% error-free software I see no need to send them to you not as PD. And leave it to you to release them as GPL or continue development and embed them in the Enterprise Plugin while I guess that you don’t have enough time to do the latter and if you had the time you wouldn’t do this.

LG

PS: If someone is looking for other 16 cents take a look here: http://www.google.de/search?q="My2cents%22+%2Bsite%3Awww.igniterealtime.org

I’m selling it cheap so that one can consider buying it and perfecting FAQ: Plugin Copyright & License Agreement, making it worth much more