Loomio
Mon 18 Apr 2016

Section 1 & 2 (Purpose) - discussion

CF
Cam Findlay Public Seen by 347

I'm going to start picking through my notes that I made after reading over the NZGOAL-SE.

In this section:

1) Some of the bullet points I think could be merged and made more concise.
2) The intro mentions that Government agencies "often own the copyright in the software ... that is developed for them" - I'd like to get an idea from industry how often in practice this is contracted out of.
3) I think it's good to tie the policy to the NZ Govt ICT Strategy (Section 1f) out of the GCIO office (I write about this in a research paper I put together last year), perhaps though we don't tie the exact dates as mentioned in the draft as this would quickly date the NZGOAL-SE policy as the ICT strategy gets revised (and it's good that strategies do get revised!).

Other than those points for me I'm generally happy with it.

Any other comments (generally or on my feedback)?

DL

Dave Lane Mon 18 Apr 2016

Cam - Egressive (my former company) had copyright ownership as a standard term in our terms of engagement. It was done to ensure we had the ability to open source the software. We granted a non-exclusive license to our customer for the versions of software we provided them, with the ability to release that specific version of the code under the license of their choice (within, of course, the context of other licenses on which the software might depend).

DL

Dave Lane Mon 18 Apr 2016

For the record, I make those Ts and Cs available to anyone to use/repurpose (under CC-By) here: https://davelane.nz/terms

CF

Cam Findlay Tue 19 Apr 2016

@davelane , a thought experiment. :thinking:

If there had been a clear policy for public sector FOSS licensing and release of the type under proposal in NZGOAL-SE when you drafted your standard contract, might this have changed the copyright assignment clause as a supplier (that is, the contracting out of the commissioning first ownership of copyright)?

What if the commissioner of the work asked to retain first ownership copyright?

DL

Dave Lane Wed 20 Apr 2016

@camfindlay1, we only had a couple customers even question our terms in 14 years. It wasn't an issue for most. Given that we were working non-gov't entities as well, I suspect we probably would've used the same terms even with NZGOAL-SE...

CF

Cam Findlay Wed 20 Apr 2016

In that case would you still discuss with a govt entity the option of making the project code reusable under a FOSS license (regardless of who actually is doing the open sourcing)? :smiley: And might you point towards something like NZGOAL-SE to help clarify to that client?

EA

Edward Abraham Wed 20 Apr 2016

Thanks for this Dave. Great to hear that your bold, principled approach has been generally accepted by your clients. May well refer back to this ...

BC

Byron Cochrane Tue 19 Apr 2016

It seems to me that there are really two questions here that this document should provide guidance on. First is the question of copyright. Should the government retain copyright on software developed on their behalf using public funds? Second is the issue of licence. The guidance here of course should be that, regardless of who retains the copyright, the software should be openly licensed. The second question is obviously the focus of this work, but I would think that some guidance on the first would be necessary. I am not sure where I land on question one. Perhaps it is a case by case situation. Dave's arrangement in Egressive seems satisfactory to the spirit of what we are trying to accomplish. It is similar to the arrangement we made with ZNO for 3D building data while I was with the Canterbury SDI - we paid for ZNO to cc licence the data and not for the data itself. In that case it removed the need for us to manage the data while making it freely available to the public. The same arrangement could be useful in software products. However, this arrangement does sacrifice future control to the contractor and some companies may not manage this so well or take advantage of it.

CF

Cam Findlay Tue 19 Apr 2016

@byroncochrane I think the following sections in the NZGOAL-SE draft my cover your question one proposed above.

Sections 9-12 & 31-33.

Have a look over these and perhaps let's start a thread specifically about those points. That will help in the final collation of the feedback :smiley:

DL

Dave Lane Wed 20 Apr 2016

@camfindlay1 of course we'd use NZGOAL-SE to lend credibility to our request to ensure any code we developed could/would be open sourced (usually GPL'd) - we didn't do much work that didn't fit that requirement.

EA

Edward Abraham Wed 20 Apr 2016

(Note: comment below now in its own thread)

This policy should be closely linked to the IP section of the ICT procurement policy. That document has a decision tree which outlines when a supplier should retain copyright. Ideally, the procurement policy is modified so that the decision tree leads to a recommendation of an open source licence. I guess this is about recognising the bigger context that open source licensing will sit inside.

We successfully use the ICT procurement policy last year to help us retain IP in software we developed for a government client. The decision tree and templated contract clauses were extremely useful.

PS the ICT procurement policy is no longer online (except as a PDF). Is it still active?

CF

Cam Findlay Wed 20 Apr 2016

@edwardabraham could I ask that you start a new thread along the lines of what I've done here (to discuss one particular section of the draft) and cross post your above post.

I think it could be useful to open up further focused discussion around the points you raise and be helpful for the final collation of the feedback during the consultation period. The thread could look to discuss sections 9-12 which deals with the IPR/procurement aspects the proposed NZGOAL-SE touches on. Thanks :smiley: