This is one of a series of posts about the sessions I attended at the Sixth Sakai Conference. See Conference Schedule, which has links to the individual presentations. Many of the sessions were recorded, and most of the presentations can be found online.
Here are my notes/impressions for the talk Licenses,CLAs, and Why They Matter – Which Way Sakai? by Chris Coppola of rSmart, presented Wednesday, 1:30PM. Co-authors include Joe Hardin of the University of Michigan and Barnaby Gibson of ithaka.org.
The presentation can be found in PowerPoint format here.
Much of the material was based on the work done at the Licensing and Policy Summit that I attended back in October. See
Licensing and Policy Summit for Software Sharing in Higher Education: Trip Report for my trip report.
Here are my notes:
Why CLA (CLA stands for Contributor’s License Agreement, a statement that attests to the authenticity of a contribution to an open-source project):
(1) need it in writing that contribution is forever;
(2) flavors of licenses
– what can you do with the mods
– if you are on a campus, can we use the contribution
– if commercial entity, can use if OSS license doesn’t force you to make code open
(3) need to makek sure code comes in under appropriate license
(4) want to make sure contributors have the right to make that contribution
Sakai uses Educational Community License (ECL), an OSI-approved open-source license
Broader context, 200-2006: Kuali Foundation (financial management), Research management
Anatomy of Community Source (this is not the notion of “community source” in the Microsoft sense):
Sakai is legal entity; inbound license CLA’s and CCLA’s (Corporate CLA, the corporate form of an individual CLA); outbound license ECL; IP management policy; license compatability.
Sakai: 135 items of 3rd party code; 32 different licenses.
Education for the Sakai community on the Licensing Summit, and report on ongoing work.
Chris mentioned later that they are about to submit revised ECL to the open-source initiative for their review and, hopefully, their approval. New ECL very close to Apache, and community is working with the Apache Software Foundation to include the necessary language in the next version of the Apache License so the whole community can move from ECL to Apache. (The needed changes to Apache License just apply to academic community, and so it is hoped they won’t be a matter of dispute. Cliff Schmidt of the ASF was at the Indianapolis summit, though not at this conference.)