Hibernation of assets

Title: Hibernation of assets
DRACC: 0009
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.

On be­half of the Pro­grammes (see DRACC “Map­ping rights to Pro­grammes”) [The ­Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy], amongst per­form­ing oth­er roles, acts as the legal ­cus­to­di­an of in­tan­gi­ble as­sets such as in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty rights on com­put­er ­source code, URI schemes, cryp­to­graph­ic iden­ti­fiers and do­main names. [The ­Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] does not re­quest or en­force ex­clu­sive con­trol over such as­set­s, how­ev­er, in­com­plete trans­fer or li­cens­ing of rights MAY lim­it it­s ­ca­pa­bil­i­ties to act in the pub­lic in­ter­est.

In the event that a cer­tain Pro­gramme has ceased de­vel­op­ment and is no longer able to sus­tain its op­er­a­tion (see DRACC “Pro­gramme Life­cy­cle”), the Pro­gram­me ­goes in­to Hi­ber­na­tion. Any as­sets held by [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] on it­s be­half SHALL be treat­ed ac­cord­ing to the pro­ce­dure de­fined in this doc­u­men­t. [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] will han­dle the lega­cy of a Pro­gramme on a ‘best ­ef­fort’ ba­sis, and with the in­ten­tion to serve the Pro­gram­me’s wider com­mu­ni­ty.

The fol­low­ing course of ac­tion (in this pre­cise or­der) will be tak­en, with each step be­ing pub­licly an­nounced on the rel­e­vant of­fi­cial pub­li­ca­tion chan­nels of [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] (e.g. its web­site):

  1. A copy of all on­line as­sets stored on ex­ter­nal servers SHALL be archived by [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy], where pos­si­ble in­clud­ing soft­ware nec­es­sary to ­main­tain them.
  2. Any as­sets shared among dif­fer­ent Pro­grammes — i.e. as­sets that were ini­tial­ly con­trib­uted to sev­er­al Pro­grammes at the same time (see DRAC­C “Map­ping Rights to Pro­grammes”), as well as as­sets shared be­tween Shared As­set Forks (see DRACC “Pro­gramme Fork­ing”) and eth­i­cal co-stew­ards (see ­DRACC “As­set Shar­ing”) — will con­tin­ue to be as­signed to the re­main­ing ac­tive Pro­grammes.
  3. If a Pro­gramme has made pro­vi­sions in its statutes or reg­u­la­tions re­gard­ing cer­tain as­sets in case of the ter­mi­na­tion of the Pro­gram­me, those pro­vi­sion­s ­MUST be hon­oured pro­vid­ed such is in com­pli­ance with the reg­u­la­tions of [The ­Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] at the time of en­try of the Pro­gramme in­to [The Com­mon­s ­Con­ser­van­cy] or any lat­er ver­sion of reg­u­la­tions ex­plic­it­ly adopt­ed by the Pro­gramme.
  4. All re­main­ing as­sets SHALL be trans­ferred to a place-hold­er Pro­gram­me di­rect­ly un­der the aegis of the Board of [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy]. [The ­Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] is it­self not able to fund sus­tained re­cur­ring cost­s ­such as re­newals of trade­mark reg­is­tra­tion or do­main names, but MAY en­ter in­to an agree­ment with oth­er or­gan­i­sa­tions to bear such costs and thus al­low ­par­tic­u­lar as­sets linked to re­cur­ring cost to re­main kep­t.

If a Pro­gramme Grad­u­ates from [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] in­to a sep­a­rate legal en­ti­ty (see DRACC “Grad­u­a­tion”), and that le­gal en­ti­ty is ter­mi­nat­ed, as­set­s which are re­turned to [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] en­ter in­to a state of Hiber­na­tion di­rect­ly with­out fol­low­ing the above pro­ce­dure.

As­sets placed in Hi­ber­na­tion MAY be re­ac­ti­vat­ed pend­ing strict con­di­tion­s, in­clud­ing any con­di­tions set by the Pro­gramme it­self pri­or to its Hi­ber­na­tion in its statutes or reg­u­la­tion­s. An­oth­er Pro­gramme MAY re­quest the Board of [The ­Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] to adopt some or all of the as­sets kept in Hi­ber­na­tion, or even to re­open the as­sets as a new Pro­gramme al­to­geth­er. Any such re­quest SHAL­L be sub­ject to a Pub­lic Con­sul­ta­tion round (see DRACC “Pub­lic Con­sul­ta­tion”), open to re­ceive in­put of all stake­hold­er­s. In the de­ci­sion to grant such a re­quest, the Board of [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] SHALL take in­to ac­count spe­cial pro­vi­sions re­sult­ing from the statutes and reg­u­la­tions of the hi­ber­nat­ed Pro­gramme.

[The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] SHALL place no­ti­fi­ca­tions on the rel­e­vant of­fi­cial pub­li­ca­tion chan­nels of [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] (e.g. its web­site), where ­pos­si­ble to in­form in­ter­est­ed stake­hold­ers — such as, for ex­am­ple, users and de­vel­op­ers of the Pro­gram­me’s work and the works of any of its De­scen­dants, should they ex­ist — about the Hi­ber­na­tion sta­tus of the Pro­gram­me, as well as any re­quests to adopt Hi­ber­nat­ed as­sets in oth­er Pro­grammes. It SHALL al­low in­ter­est­ed stake­hold­ers to re­ceive up­dates (ei­ther by way of email or through an­oth­er au­to­mat­ed way of no­ti­fi­ca­tion), such as ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est to re­vive a cer­tain Pro­gramme or any le­gal claims made by oth­ers in­volv­ing those as­sets which are rel­e­van­t.

Note that [The Com­mons Con­ser­van­cy] MAY re­lo­cate hi­ber­nat­ed as­sets to an ex­ter­nal not-­for-prof­it en­ti­ty at any point if such is nec­es­sary to pro­tec­t it­self and its oth­er Pro­grammes against le­gal ac­tion in­volv­ing hi­ber­nat­ed as­set­s.