Open source policies should be written to ensure that open source software is considered equally alongside closed source. This page (will eventually) outline what a policy should look like and how it should be implemented, it also provides links to example policies.

Whilst this document is under construction you might want to take a look at the following:

Policies for Contribution

Some would suggest that there is almost never a good reason not to donate code to an appropriate project unless an open source licence would somehow prevent your organisation from achieving what it needs to achieve with that software.

In other words, unless you expect your organisation to go into the software business, either selling software, support or development expertise, there is rarely any reason to keep code to oneself. Even if you do plan to head in this direction open source will rarely preclude such an action, and some would claim it enhances your opportunities.

Even if your organisation thinks it may want to exploit the software in some other way in the future many projects allow you to maintain your own copyright in the work. That is, you are often still at liberty to do what you like with your own code (within the confines of the reciprocal nature of some licences).

So, the key questions that an organisation should ask itself when considering whether it should donate code to a project are:

A contribution policy needs to address the following issues:

Example Contribution Policies

University

Procurement Policies

When and how to consider open source in purchasing decisions is an important part of ensuring your organisation is ready and able to take advantage of open source where appropriate.

Example Policies

Governmental

University

Schools

External Links

OSSWatchWiki: OpenSourcePolicies (last edited 2013-04-15 13:56:19 by localhost)

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