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Summary of SourceForge.net hosting

SourceForge.net provides hosting for Open Source software development projects. Among the set of projects we host, there are certain classes of projects which have been found to be more prone to receive negative feedback from the community. This document provides a summary of our position on project hosting, specifically to answer concerns about hosting of these types of projects.

General policy on project hosting

SourceForge.net provides hosting for Open Source software development projects. We do not provide hosting to projects under non-Open Source licenses. We generally do not provide hosting for projects producing content, as opposed to actual software.

All projects and users must comply with our Terms of Use agreement. Our Terms of Use agreement includes a clause regarding compliance with laws.

The term "Open Source" refers to material licensed under terms which comply with the OSI's Open Source Definition. All licenses used on SourceForge.net projects need to comply with these requirements.

SourceForge.net does not provide hosting for software projects which infringe on trademarks or copyrights.

SourceForge.net does not generally review the designed purpose of hosted projects, but we will reject projects that we find to have no legitimate (validly legal) purpose.

Licensing issues

Please contact us regarding problems with project licensing; we maintain a process for handling Open Source license compliance problems.

Copyright infringement issues

If you have concerns regarding the infringement by a SourceForge.net-hosted project of a copyright: Copyright holders who have concern should pursue any such concerns through the DMCA; folks who are not the copyright holder should escalate their concerns to the copyright holder for handling.

Our designated agent for DMCA notifications is listed in the "Copyright Infringement" section of the Terms of Use agreement.

Terms of Use issues

Violations of our Terms of Use agreement should be raised per the instructions provided in the the Terms of Use agreement.

"Undesirable" software

SourceForge.net is generally willing to provide hosting for the following types of "undesirable" software if it does not otherwise violate the requirements of our hosting policies.

  • Password cracking tools (WEP sniffers, brute-force password crackers) - used for password recovery by rightful system owner, security testing, and research.
  • Remote administration tools (BO2K) - used for system administration by system owner.
  • Game cheats, game emulators - useful for development of counter-code (code to prevent cheats), modular game utilities, protocol enhancements, and testing.
  • P2P (Peer-to-peer) client software - legitimate use in distributing public domain software, Open Source software, and freely distributable materials; may be enhanced to legally support various types of for-pay media/DRM
  • Mass mailing tools - legitimately used for distribution of mail via opt-in mailing lists.
  • Anti-spam software - Some folks complain that we host anti-spam software which blocks their mail transmission; these concerns should be directed to individual software authors and the users of the anti-spam software, since they are the ones involved in preventing undesired mail from hitting mailboxes.
  • Secure data scrub and encryption tools - Used to safely remove data that might otherwise be used for identity theft or exposure of private data.

Notes on the application of the Open Source Definition

The Open Source Definition requires that all Open Source licenses not limit the ways or people that are permitted to use the software. Though some developers of software may wish to prevent illegitimate use, the following should be kept in mind:

  • You can't restrict the way folks use your software, only make recommendations. That is: You cannot say that your software will not be used to commit a crime, or for military purposes; but you can recommend against breaking laws or using the software for military purposes, or the operaton of nuclear power facilities. No discrimination against purpose of use.
  • You can't restrict who can use your software: business, military, individuals, individuals with past criminal record can all use your software alike. No discrimination against people.
  • You can't license your software to prohibit use by T7 countries, but you can include clauses to note the requirements placed on the licensee by the US Government, and state that users should abide by all applicable laws.

Source Availability

SourceForge.net understands the importance of source code availability to the Open Source community. Source code availability is important for a number of reasons, including: legal (prior art), long-term maintainability (preventing dead data formats), porting to other platforms, and the creation of derivative works as permitted by Open Source license.

SourceForge.net requires that source code releases be made via our File Release System for any binary releases made via our File Release System or any other project resource. The presence of matching source code within SCM does not meet our source availability requirements.

Please contact us regarding problems with source availability.

Formerly Open Source software

SourceForge.net generally works to preserve and archive all Open Source software produced through our resources. In the event that the copyright holders of a piece of software later decide to change to a restrictive or proprietary license for future versions of their software, we will continue to host past Open Source versions of the software but will not provide hosting for any future versions of the software or activities (i.e. support) related to new versions of the software.

It is our expectation that project file releases will remain intact and available once posted to SourceForge.net.

SourceForge.net resources can only be used in support of Open Source software hosting.

Other inquiries

This document has attempted to answer the most common questions about the hosting of "undesirable" projects at SourceForge.net. If you have questions or concerns which have not been addressed by this document, please contact us.