Regarding the licence and copyright

Basic information

The intention

  1. My (OK's) intention is that the OKlibrary shall be always available under a licence similar in spirit to the GPLv3, including all contributions made by internal and external developers.
  2. Part of the OKlibrary is the full history of the development as provided by the Git repository; through this medium it shall always be possible to determine the contributions of each developer.
  3. The GPL was chosen over the "LGPL" due to the research character of the library, which needs stronger protection for all participants, and also due to special protection against patenting.

The implementation

About the copyright assignment

  1. Apparently, being the "copyright owner" essentially means (at least in this context) the ability to change the licence for future releases (this doesn't affect already released packages).
  2. Thus, I (OK, the copyright owner of the OKlibrary) could in principle change the licence in the future to for example a proprietary licence; if possible I would exclude this possibility here once and for all, however legally this seems not to be possible.
  3. In any case, whatever the legal value of this statement here is, I (OK) state that I will only change the licence terms in the future if this seems necessary to guarantee public availability of the OKlibrary, as well as to guarantee that all contributions of all developers are properly acknowledged (that is, as given by the submission history).
  4. Again, apparently, each "file" needs to contain a copyright statement at the beginning; as mentioned I (OK) require this copyright statement to be in my name (and on nobodies else), since the available alternatives seem essentially flawed to me in our situation:

Implications and alternatives

Yet there is not much experience with external forms of collaboration, but it is my (OK's) intention to support many visions different from mine.


Oliver Kullmann

Last modified: Sat Oct 29 21:13:53 BST 2011