Mapping rights to Programmes

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Title: Mapping rights to Programmes
DRACC: 0003
Category: Regulatory
Scope: Global
Authors: Leenaars, M.A.G.J., Šuklje, M.
Date: January 2017
Copyright: The Commons Conservancy

This document is part of the DRACC series, see DRACC "Introduction to DRACC Series" for an explanation. You can reuse it under a "Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International" license.

[The Commons Conservancy] as a legal entity is a compound organisation that (in addition to other functions it performs) holds assets on behalf of its associated Programmes, their user and developer communities of the past, present and future, and in the wider public interest. This document serves to assign a number of externally enforcible rights to Programmes pertaining to the ethical stewardship of intangible assets -- such as copyright, trade marks, patents, databases, integrated circuit layout design and the like -- held by [The Commons Conservancy] on the behalf of the Programmes. The Board of [The Commons Conservancy] is bound by its statutes to obey the rights described in this document, and by virtue of it grants any stakeholder -- such as, for example, users and developers of the Programme's work and the works of any of its Lineal or Collatoral Descendants (see DRACC "Programme Forking"), should they exist -- the right to challenge decisions that would violate them and ask for them to be reversed. The rights described in this document are immutable, and cannot be changed -- unless unanimously approved by all governance bodies of all active Programmes. Additional rights and clarifications MAY be added by publishing additional documents.

The layered structure of [The Commons Conservancy] makes it important to retain adequate provenance data to make it clear and unambiguous how and where individual assets should be allocated at later stages. To avoid information regarding the intent of the original transfer of rights to get lost, a copy of each transfer of assets MUST be deposited with [The Commons Conservancy].

Assets initially contributed to a single Programme

The ethical stewardship of any assets that are contributed to a single specific Programme within [The Commons Conservancy] lies with that Programme (see DRACC "Assigning Assets"). The Governing Body of a Programme is the only entity or body that can initiate additional licensing possibilities (in addition to the licenses already previously made available to the general public) for the assets that are being kept on its behalf. Relicensing MUST receive approval of the Board of [The Commons Conservancy]. When a Programme Graduates to a standalone not-for-profit legal entity (see DRACC "Graduation"), [The Commons Conservancy] SHALL grant that new host organisation all the necessary rights. Transfers MAY only be made to a not-for-profit entity and MAY be conditional to reasonable requirements set by [The Commons Conservancy] to safeguard the long term public interest and satisfy any criteria set by the statutes and regulations of the Programme. This ethical stewardship SHALL be extended to Lineal Descendants of the Programme -- particularly Shared Asset Forks and their continuations --, unless other provisions have been made in the statutes and regulations of [The Commons Conservancy] or statutes and regulations of the Programme.

Assets initially contributed to multiple Programmes

The ethical stewardship of any assets that are contributed to multiple specific Programmes within [The Commons Conservancy] lies with each of these Programmes as well as with the whole set of said Programmes (see DRACC "Assigning Assets"). Any of the Governing Bodies of any of the Programmes MAY request to allow additional licensing possibilities (in addition to the licenses already previously made available to the general public) for the assets that are being kept on its Programme's behalf. Relicensing MUST receive approval of the Board of [The Commons Conservancy]. When a Programme Graduates to a standalone not-for-profit legal entity (see DRACC "Graduation"), the Programme MAY be allowed to take (a subset of) rights held by [The Commons Conservancy] on Programme's behalf to its new host organisation. For such a transfer or rights to be made, the Programme's new host organisation MUST be a not-for-profit legal entity and MUST provide adequate safeguards in line with the long term public interest and the mission of [The Commons Conservancy]. Regardless of Graduation, [The Commons Conservancy]'s ethical stewardship SHALL be extended to descendants of the Programme -- particularly Shared Asset Forks and other Programmes sharing the assets --, unless other provisions have been made in the statutes and regulations of [The Commons Conservancy] and statutes and regulations of the Programme.

Assets contributed directly to [The Commons Conservancy]

Assets, such as copyright, trade marks, patents, databases, integrated circuit layout design and the like, that are either contributed to [The Commons Conservancy] itself directly (see DRACC "Assigning Rights") -- i.e. not earmarked to any specific Programme -- or if none of the Programmes accept the contribution [The Commons Conservancy] SHALL license to all its Programmes and to the public in general taking the following into account:

  • proximity -- if the contribution is a modification to an existing file, it SHOULD be licensed under the same license as the file it was contributed to; if the contribution is a new file, it SHOULD be licensed under the same license that other files in the folder are licensed under; if that is not possible it SHOULD be licensed under the main license of the repository the contribution was initially sent to;
  • coherency -- if the rule of proximity is not useful, the contribution SHOULD be licensed under the same license as the Programme that the contribution was contributed to;
  • public good -- if the rules of proximity and coherency are not useful enough or if the Board of [The Commons Conservancy] deems so more in line with the intention of the contributor, the license SHALL default to the license that Legal Committee chooses (see DRACC "Legal Documents Whitelist").

Such assets MAY only be transferred to or shared with other/external legal entities after a Public Consultation (see DRACC "Public Consultation") or alternatively when there is explicit permission from the original rights holders who donated these assets to [The Commons Conservancy].