[Squeakfoundation]Operating procedures for a "burn the diskpacks" list?

Paul Fernhout squeakfoundation@lists.squeakfoundation.org
Thu, 07 Jun 2001 09:12:23 -0400


Since a Squeak "Community" Foundation would be likely to support
subgroup mailing lists which may constitute temporary or permanent
branches related to Squeak, it seems relevant to discuss operating
procedures and legal charters that may be relevant to such lists.

Background: I may eventually request a new mailing list under the Squeak
Foundation for "blue" plane work I am interested in. Specifically, it
would be for building up a "burn the disk packs" system inspired by
Squeak from the ground up through an open community process under a more
"standard" license (BSD). It is likely Squeak itself as-is may be used
to provide scaffolding to help build the next generation system. Both
technical "how to" and social "why to" commentary would be encouraged on
the list. The system I am contemplating would have a more prototype
flavor, would generally favor transparency over efficiency, would
support a notion of versions and permissions for changes, events, and
transactions, and would support multiple syntaxes (Smalltalk, Scheme,
Python, Forth). You can see hints of it in submissions I have made to
the Squeak list in terms of the Pointrel Data Repository System,
LinksWorld, and Embedded Squeak.

Before actually setting up such a list myself, or requesting it be set
up (hi Cees! :-), I want to first discuss its operating procedures with
people on this list. Here are what I see as the minimum needed for the
list charter to produce copyrighted works with at least a reasonable
amount of "due diligence". These procedures may be useful for other
Squeak Foundation lists, and so I think it generally appropriate to
discuss them here, even if I do not proceed with these plans.

I would especially appreciate it if anyone with access to legal advice
[Dave T?] could get get such a mailing list charter reviewed or
imporved, especially considering that contributions will come from
individuals in many nations. 

Note: the choice of license [BSD] is not fixed in stone yet, and I might
consider GPL or LGPL or Apache. The work would definitely not be under
the Squeak license as is. I would also consider handling the licensing
provision differently than by fiat [i.e. allowing various incompatible
licenses and sorting it out with config maps.]. 


[DRAFT PROPOSAL for a mailing list charter for comments]

The intent of this list is to discuss and create new works inspired by
the potential demonstrated by Squeak. Here are a few restrictions on the
list required as legal due dilligence in creating a new collaborative
work by many individuals. Submissions are only accepted by people who
have joined the mailing list. By joining the mailing list, every
contributor agrees:
A. By the act of submitting an email or other future unit of information
exchange to the list, the author grants a irrevocable, royalty-free,
worldwide license allowing redistribution of that contribution in total
in any media, as well as quoting in derived works with attribution.
B. By the act of submission of code or other "know how" to the list, the
author grants sufficient irrevocable royalty-free, worldwide permission
for that code or other "know how" contribution to be placed under a
[BSD-revised] license.
C. By the act of submission of other "creative work" to the list such as
without limitation a logo or bitmap, the author grants a irrevocable,
royalty-free, worldwide license allowing redistribution in total in any
media, and  unless at the time of submission announces the aesthetic
work may not be modified without their permission, they also grant
permission to distribute derived works (with attribution).
D. Contributors assert that to the best of their knowledge either:
1. their contribution is original, and they have any required permission
needed to make it from any relevant third party such as without
limitation their employer, and it does not infringe any third parties
rights, or
2. any non-original contribution is clearly labeled and is accompanied
by all needed rights to contribute it to the list for use under the
list's licensing policy.
E. To be clear, contributors may post emails with links to other work
not submitted to the list which is compatible with or relevant to the
work developed on the list. Such links shall not cause the work so
linked to be considered to be contributed under the terms of the list.
F. Should contributors discover one of their contributions is in some
way infringing on a copyright or patent or has some other legal problem,
they will notify the list of such issues immediately.
G. It is understood each contribution comes with NO WARRANTY to the
greatest extent possible under applicable laws.
H. If the contributor is a minor under local jurisdiction, they have
gotten permission from their guardian for participation on the list
under these terms.


Comments on the operating procedure anyone? [Please save comments on the
project or its advisability for the new list itself.] 

Also, do people have pointers to similar or better list charters?

-Paul Fernhout
Kurtz-Fernhout Software 
Developers of custom software and educational simulations
Creators of the Garden with Insight(TM) garden simulator