DataONE is developing software and distributing software that originates from multiple institutions that each have their own policies governing copyright and licensing of software. As a project, DataONE is committed both philosophically and through our cooperative agreement with NSF to distribute our work as open source software. This document outlines our general policy towards the assignment of copyright and licensing of software developed as a part of DataONE activities.
Because DataONE is committed to open science and open source principles, all software developed will be licensed under an OSI-approved open source license. Because different open source licenses can have implications for the re-use and distribution of that software, DataONE will have a general policy that guides choice of licenses. However, DataONE also recognizes that existing software that is useful to the project may already use open source licenses that can not be changed easily or at all. DataONE does not want as a matter of policy to exclude the use of these open source products that use alternate licenses.
DataONE recognizes the benefits of various open source licenses, but as a general policy DataONE will use the Apache 2.0 open source license for newly developed code: http://www.opensource.org/licenses/apache2.0.php. The Apache license was selected because it:
Grants a copyright license that allows any party to download, copy, and modify the work
Grants a patent license for any party to use, modify, and redistribute the work
Includes a disclaimer that the software is distributed without warranty
Inlcudes a limitation of liability
DataONE also considered other licenses which were not selected, including the BSD license (no patent license) and the GPL (includes requirement that derivative works also be GPL licensed).
In addition, DataONE will need to incorporate other existing software products into the system, and this general license policy should not be used to exclude open source software from use within DataONE. Rather, DataONE participants can incorporate OSI-compliant software to the extent permitted by their licenses and can contribute to other software products that use alternate licenses when it will benefit the DataONE project. Questions should be directed to the DataONE Leadership Team.
Individuals employed by different universities contribute to the development of DataONE software, and those individuals or the institution that employs them hold copyright on their work. Typically authorship of DataONE software is done by participants from multiple institutions holding joint copyright. Therefore, our general policy will be that each DataONE software product will contain a copyright statement that indicates that all of the participating organizations hold joint copyright in the work.
As a consequence, each DataONE product should include a copyright and license statement in a file at the root of the source and binary distributions and in each source code file that reads:
This work was created by participants in the DataONE project, and is jointly copyrighted by participating institutions in DataONE. For more information on DataONE, see our web site at http://dataone.org. Copyright 2010 Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at http://www.apache.org/licenses/LICENSE-2.0 Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.
Each DataONE product should also include a copy of the Apache 2.0 license at the root of its source code tree in order to make the license easily accessible to people that receive the product.