[Nagiosplug-devel] porposal to clarify terms of submission

Voon, Ton Ton.Voon at egg.com
Fri Aug 22 03:47:21 CEST 2003

I don't fully understand all the copyright issues, but I agree that the
Nagios Plugin Development Group should bear the responsibility, and thus the
copyright, of all code distributed.

As a former contributor, my only request was for a little credit. I don't
think this should be in the form of comments within the code, but a clear
document that says this person has made a contribution to the project, like
what Ethan has done at http://www.nagios.org/contributors.php. This is why I
always put down the contributor for bug reports or patches in CVS


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Karl DeBisschop [mailto:karl at debisschop.net] 
> Sent: Friday, August 22, 2003 7:05 AM
> To: NagiosPlug Devel
> Subject: [Nagiosplug-devel] porposal to clarify terms of submission
> 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.
> --
> Karl 

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