Licensing Principles and Approaches

Licensing Principles

Open by default

We use open-source components, create documents in open formats, and license both code and software with the most permissive license possible. The components of Project Electron should be widely available to anyone. Creating and modifying open-source software and documentation reinforces our mission to contribute back to the cultural heritage community.

Transparent development

Our work should be visible to the public even during development. We provide access to the work through every stage of the process to ensure that we are building infrastructure that others can use and understand. We encourage engagement and participation from the broader cultural heritage community.

Clear and open licensing

We will clearly document how others may use the code, documentation or other products we create. We use open licenses as a default, implementing restrictive licenses only when absolutely required. Complex licensing can be a hindrance to the wide adoption of products, so we strive for a simple approach.

Proprietary solutions as a last resort

We will only implement proprietary software or code where there is no open-source alternative. The Rockefeller Archive Center project team will approve all use of propriety software.

Licensing Approaches

Code

Written in a variety of languages and hosted on GitHub or other web-accessible version-control platforms.

License: MIT or license dictated by the software being utilized.

User application documentation

Written in Markdown to facilitate format conversion and hosted on GitHub, the Rockefeller Archive Center Documentation Site or other web-accessible version-control platforms associated with the code repository.

License: MIT. This is the same license as the associated code; any open software license is also applicable to the software documentation. If we use different licenses for the documentation than the software, we will need to make sure to apply an MIT license to any code quoted or used as an example in the documentation. MIT or license dictated by the software being utilized.

Technical documentation (including data models)

Written in Markdown to facilitate format conversion and hosted on GitHub or other web-accessible version-control platforms associated with the code repository.

License: MIT. This is the same license as the code; any open software license is also applicable to the software documentation. If we use different licenses for the documentation than the software, we will need to make sure to apply an MIT license to any code quoted or used as an example in the documentation. MIT or license dictated by the software being utilized.

Planning documents

Images and documents (preferably written in Markdown) that include policy documents, anonymized user stories, personas, functional requirements, values and other design artifacts. The project website, hosted on GitHub Pages, will share these documents.

License: Creative Commons 1.0 Universal.