[Idpy-discuss] Notes: Chatting with the Commons Conservancy, 11 April 2018
hlflanagan at sphericalcowgroup.com
Wed Apr 11 13:16:32 UTC 2018
A few of us met with Michiel Leenaars from the Commons Conservancy today
to talk about CC as a potential IPR home for idpy. I still have to get a
call with Apereo on the calendar. For those of you that are interested
but were unable to attend the call today with CC, notes are below.
Benn, Roland, Ivan, Michiel, Heather, Leif
How do donations work? How do we handle money? How do tax agreements get
handled with multiple countries? Given that we’re giving with
contributors across national boundaries, where do the CCLAs fall in
terms of jurisdiction? What is the international suitability of their CCLA?
What kind of volume are we talking about? Right now, none at all.
CC has a few mechanisms. Anyone that has a tax treaty with NL (which is
most of the world). Will be setting up a 501(c) in Delaware in the next
few months, which will help folks in the US. If entities can’t donate,
but can receive invoices, have a separate company for that (Commons
Caretakers). This is called a fiscal fundraising entity, meant
specifically for charities. This is working well for the Filesender
project. The idea is to de-couple the keeping the money from the place
where it is (e.g., keeping the money in Japan to avoid Japanese issues,
but still accepting donations). There is a universal regime in Europe -
anything tax deductible in one country is tax deductible in another
country. If you want to do grants, then that will work as well: NLnet
can help deal with that. We do want to separate governance from funds
Idpy doesn’t know what the funding model will look like exactly, but it
will probably be a similar model to current projects - a relatively
small number of international, organizational contributors. We won’t
have use case in the near future that require multinational stashing of
CC has no fixed model. The default model is from
contributorlicenseagreement.org. That is considered a best practice, but
the can also use the FLA (fiduciary license agreement).
CC has a generic foundation, and bootstrap underneath that a set of VO
(not confined to traditional foundation model). The VOs can organize
themselves, and can put their own restrictions on what people can do -
you can fork the organization, or never. You can dictate where the code
can go, etc. Conditions enforced at the foundation level; will enforce
even after the VO evaporates. This will allow you to do things like mix
licenses (e.g., MIT and GDPL), if needed.
Current use case: we’ve reached consensus on Apache2. Still discussing
Open questions: Handling of the IPR, code ownership, CCLAs. The sample
license agreements sent to us to review came from
contributorlicenseagreement.org. The default selection that CC has made
was drafted by the legal advisor of the Free Software Foundation of
Europe, so very much vetted towards international usage.
US centric questions: The concern is more about the CCLA than the CLA.
Need a package that explains what is is, why it’s important, why you
can’t mark it up. We have such a thing for Apache2, but if we wanted to
use the defaults from CC we’d need a similar FAQ-style thing. (Michiel
Choice of law: assume we’re staying with Dutch law, but that does make
another hurdle on the US side. Many institutions in the US may not have
international law resources available to them. So, having that FAQ thing
mentioned above that would also include “how does Dutch law differ from
US law” etc would also be helpful. (Michiel points out that the FSF
people primarily worked from US-based CLAs, so this should be easy to
address as well)
One more edge case: in the US, government agencies cannot sign
agreements outside their home jurisdiction. This will impact state
universities and institutions. They can’t accept the jurisdiction of
another state. Right now, we don’t have that situation, but that’s
something to think about down the road. Mentioning this in response to
the 501(c) set up in Delaware.
In Europe, some countries are like that. This should scale to the US
What other things should we be asking about?
CC is a self-service shop. Just try to give a safe home for the code,
and mechanisms to deal with things. Don’t have much in the way of IT
infrastructure: you’ll run your own website, lists, etc. Just try to be
a safe legal home and a decision infrastructure. You should ask “can you
leave?” For example, if you give your code to the FSF, you can’t get the
code back. CC wants an easy, low weight to start and which can scale up,
but there is no mandate to stay. You can copy the entire framework if
you want to, as all the framework documents are Creative Commons.
The CC is completely free. If you go with one of the payment
infrastructure, there is no mandatory payment structure. People pay what
they can contribute. Most intermediaries ask for 10%, which CC thinks is
high, but they appreciate people donate what they can.
What is the common level of contribution that most projects? Between
5-8%, but it’s voluntary.
How many projects are in the program? 6 on board, and about 15 that are
in various stages of onboarding
* Internet of Coins (cryptocurrency effort)
* Red Wax
* Fashion Freedom Initiative
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