Legal Documents Whitelist
Legal Documents Whitelist
Leenaars, M.A.G.J.; Šuklje, M.
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.
When a rights holder wants to transfer intangible assets to [The Commons Conservancy], there are many different ways to do so. Transferring assets is not a mandatory requirement, but is recommended in many circumstances.
Writing legal documents around intangible asset transfer and licensing is complex, also due to the heterogeneous global nature of the subject matter, and lack of clarity may lead to unexpected surprises and undesirable liabilities -- and may complicate internal processes specific to [The Commons Conservancy] such as an Asset Sharing scenario. Unbridled proliferation of different documents is also confusing to end users and developers. At the same time, [The Commons Conservancy] does not want to limit a Programme in designing and using a document to cater for specific needs it may have.
Legal Documents Whitelist (LDW)
[The Commons Conservancy] maintains a whitelist of legal documents it considers to be robust enough for broader use by its Programmes. This list is called the Legal Document Whitelist (abbreviated as LDW), and it is made publicly available.
The Legal Document Whitelists documents such as (Corporate and Individual) Contributor License Agreements, Fiduciary License Agreements, Developer Certificates of Origin and other legal documents that can be used to asses as well as transfer or grant rights -- e.g. vouch for the origins of assets, to transfer assets or to (sub)license them. The copyright conditions of said documents should be such that [The Commons Conservancy] may offer them through its online channels to its Programmes, and that these would be free to use them also upon Graduation.
No rights can be inferred from (re)publication of a document by [The Commons Conservancy].
The Legal Document Whitelis is maintained by a dedicated Legal Committee, which is appointed by the Board of [The Commons Conservancy]. Until such a committee is set up, the Board is in charge of maintaining the Legal Document Whitelist.
Use of the LDW
Provisional to its own statutes and regulations, a Programme is free to use any document it chooses for obtaining assets at its own responsibility and risk. This includes the ability to use self-written legal documents crafted specifically for the Programme. However, only assets obtained through a document that is on the LWD are considered as "safe" for all scenarios of Rights Enforcement (see DRACC "Rights Enforcement") and for other functions and processes such as relicensing, Shared Asset Forking and Asset Sharing between and beyond Lineal and Collateral Descendants (see DRACC "Mapping Rights to Programmes", DRACC "Programme Forking" and DRACC "Asset Sharing") already jointly inheriting assets.
In case a Programme needs actions to be taken involving assets and rights obtained through documents not on the LDW, [The Commons Conservancy] is likely no longer the right vehicle for the Programme and a Programme SHOULD attempt to Graduate or (if this is not possible) find alternative ways of meeting its desired goals.
Nominating new documents for the LWD
Any Programme within [The Commons Conservancy] MAY nominate additional documents to be adopted on the LDW. The nomination MUST be accompanied by a legal analysis by a qualified professional.
If the outcome of the research on the eligibility of a document is indecisive, the Board of [The Commons Conservancy] MAY decide to organise a Public Consultation (see DRACC "Public Consultation") to receive wider input. If a document is not accepted, it MAY be resubmitted after 3 years with the availability of new supporting documentation.
The Legal Committee MAY also decide instead to fast-track the proposed document by avoiding the Public Consultation in case it deems the document entirely unproblematic -- e.g. if it is an already well-known and well-established document that has passed public legal review already before and is widely understood to protect FOSS projects.