Many of the projects interested in participating to the HSF mentioned licensing as in important topic where the HSF could help. Many projects in our community don’t have an explicit license, some have started with one license but are facing problems as the project is growing and incorporating new partners.
This is recognized as a complex issue where the collaboration helps not to forget one aspect and to make decisions compatible with our international projects. With contributors from many different countries involved, we have to deal with different laws and policies.
Despite the HSF is only about open-source software, there are several licensing options with different advantages and drawbacks and not all of these options are compatible. This is a potential problem for the HSF as its goal is to create a software ecosystem where all packages can be combined to address the computing needs of our community.
In Spring 2015, A working group has been formed with people from the community who had already some experiences with licensing issues. This working group, as any in the HSF, is open to new participants and contributions. Most discussions so far took place in the HSF Technical Forum (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A first Technical Note was released in February 2016, discussing the main issues related to open-source software licensing and proposing some licensing recommendations for HSF projects which don’t have already a well established license. This Technical Note reflects the consensus at the date when it was published and is a basis for further discussions. A new version will be released later if needed.