[Nagiosplug-devel] porposal to clarify terms of submission

Karl DeBisschop karl at debisschop.net
Thu Aug 21 23:08:24 CEST 2003

In the last round of cleanup, I have found a few times where attribution
and current copyright has become murky.

I'd like to clarify things in our public documents so people know what
to expect.

In my mind, this is the model under which we operate is as follows. This
is a little scattershot, but should be a basis for comment. Out of this
I hope to formulate some clearer policy statements to be included with
the distribution.


When a plugin is accepted, copyright is transferred to the 'Nagios
Plugin Developemnt Group." For our part, we will retain credit to the
contributor preceding our copyright statement. But I think we should
assert copyright as an entity to 1) protect changes we make 2) be in a
position to defend copyright if need be [I fear that if some sort of
challenge arose, we'd be so busy calrifying rights that we'd be unable
to defend those rights].

A plugin becomes elegible for acceptance whenever a contributor requests
that a plugin be placed in contrib (via deposit in the new plugins
tracker, or via request for inclusion to the list or to a developer).
Simply posting code to the list does not make the plugin eligible -
there may be a request to integrate. We should consider adding a control
to the tracker allowing a contirbutor to indicate whether or not the
plugin should be integrated.


The plugins are GPL.

All tracker submissions should be GPL.

Other open-source licenses will be tolerated on the mailing lists, but
GPL is preferred. Any plugin that becomes integrated or packaged with
the plugin must be GPL, however.


When I took over development of the plugins a few years back, there was
no sense of there being a development group. I made judgment calls about
how to assign copyrights based on the degree to which I had modified a
plugin. In retrospect I could/should have done better. But that's water
under the bridge. 

Nonetheless, once these issues are documented, we should make an effort
to contact the original contributors to be sure they do not feel we are
infringing their rights. I'm not worried here - they were submitted
under GPL. But I feel respect for other's contributions requires us to
make the effort to document that there is no objection to our asserting
copyright on the derived GPL'd work.


We should make explicit statements that no infringement of intellectual
property will be tolerated. There should be some indication of that on
the tracker used to submit contributed plugins. I am at a loss for how
this might be 'enforced'. At a minimum, we should request that if any
party sees a possible infringement, they should bring it to our
attention so it may be examined and corrected if need be.

Any and all comments appreciated.


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