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OpenSource Software

Collaboration Counseling

The Mediator for Collaboration in OpenSource Software

Collaboration between different OpenSource Software groups and projects currently increasingly suffers from a wide variety of OSS licenses. This problem is caused by the imperfect compatibility of the licenses. The OpenSource Software Collaboration Counseling (OSSCC) has the mission to foster collaboration between different OpenSource Software groups and projects. The OSSCC offers amongst others to counsel authors with making licensing decisions that allow best collaboration with other projects.

The OpenSource Software development model was introduced on a greater base after the Usenet system appeared in 1979. The Usenet allowed for easy world-wide OSS distribution. In the early days when people like Larry Wall and Rich Salz initiated the OpenSource Movement idea, most OSS software was distributed under very permissive licenses. In the late 1980s, less permissive OSS licenses came up and with the broader availability of internet access since the mid 1990s, many OSS licenses have been created. Unfortunately, a wide variety of less permissive OSS licenses introduced license incompatibilities.

To support collaboration, OSS authors should select OSS licenses that are compatible with each other and that allow to create greater works based on code from different sources. For better collaboration, it would also desirable to select licenses that allow code flow from and to any project using an OSI compliant license to any other project using an OSI compliant license. As some licenses create a one-way of code flow towards the specific license, licenses need to be selected carefully in order to grant collaboration that is more than a one-way. The OSSCC tries to support collaboration based the thoughts on license proliferation initiated by the OpenSource Initiative and to help with selecting compatible licenses.

To simplify license selection, we provide the OSSCC license interoperability guide together with a commented list of preferred OSS licenses.

The OSSCC also tries to provide a platform to support collaboration between existing currently separate OSS entities and to politically support OSS.

The OSSCC is currently a group of volunteering people located in Germany and Norway but we are looking for more contributors and staff members worldwide.

If you like to contribute, you are welcome. We currently have a special need of web-designers, translators and lawyers. If you like to help with contacting other people, you are of course also welcome to become a OSSCC collaborator. If you are a member of an existing OSS community that is interested in better collaboration, you are of course welcome as well.

You may contact us by sending mail to: info at
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