Hi Dave,
Michael offers sounds advice, and I can't add much except to reinforce what he says about considerations of IP and the importance of consulting University Counsel. Chances are they will thank you for contacting them and say they don't mind much how you release the software, but they may have concerns you haven't thought of (or at least ground they want to make sure is covered before the software is released).

For ReservesDirect, we did an initial administrative review to determine what license we should use. After talking to the IP lawyer for the UVa libraries and examining the available licenses, we chose GPL for a number of reasons (it met many of our goals--it is widely used, it is compatible with the software we want to bundle with RD, it does not allow commercialization of our code by a third party, it is less complicated than the Mozilla license, etc.). After an initial release candidate, we are currently undergoing a second administrative review after consulting further with University Counsel. The University is very supportive of our product and our release of it under open source (their ears only really perk up when intellectual property produced at the university has the potential to produce major dollars). However, there were issues related to what the software does and what it might be used for by others that Counsel wants to make sure are covered before we do a full release of the software....and he is going to look over the GPL to make sure everything is copacetic.

BTW, back to your original question, some open source advocates have expressed concern about the unchecked proliferation of open source licences, since the tendency over the last five years has been for people to roll their own licence for their own situation rather than build off of established licences, which has caused the confusion you note at finding over fifty to choose from. This is another reason we went with GPL. Incidentally, my Gmail offered me this link (usually I ignore these, but this time it was actually useful!) to an article about the Free Software Foundation's current effort to overhaul GPL for the modern open source environment:

http://tinyurl.com/bazqk

Kyle has spent alot of time with the various open source licenses and could probably give you more background about what we looked at for ReservesDirect.

Best,
Maurice

--
************************************
Maurice York
Team Leader, Circulation and Reserves
Woodruff Library
Emory University
Atlanta, GA 30322
mcyork@emory.edu

On 12/1/05, Doran, Michael D <doran@uta.edu> wrote:
Hi Dave,

> We at University of Connecticut have been working on a
> project for close to a year. We'd like to make it available
> to others using an open source license, but as this
> organization is fairly new to the development side of
> open source, we're puzzling over which license would be
> most appropriate for us to use.

As a general rule, copyright ownership of intellectual property (such as
your software project) developed by University employees, or using
University resources, belongs to the University.  I don't believe that
UConn is an exception [1].  This means that you really should petition
the University for permission before releasing the software as open
source.  I realize that a lot of people skip this step, but it's the
right (and legal) thing to do.

The University of Connecticut has an intellectual property (IP)
disclosure process and that's what you'll need to find out about [2].
If you get permission to release the application as open source, there's
a good chance that the University's legal department will specify the
license wording (thus resolving the issue of what license would be the
most appropriate to use) [3].

You have to be prepared going into this IP disclosure process, because
it is primarily designed for patented inventions rather than copyrighted
software, and for commercialization opportunities rather than for giving
stuff away for free.  I have gone through the process twice here at the
University of Texas at Arlington in order to release software
applications developed locally in our library.  One of those
applications, by the way, is currently being used by the UConn
Libraries.  The intellectual property (as well as a host of other)
issues involved in releasing a locally-developed software application as
open source, was the topic of a LITA National Forum presentation in
September [4].

I know this wasn't the type of answer you were looking for, but
hopefully it's good advice.  My experiences may or may not be relevant
to your situation, but if I can answer any questions, please feel free
to contact me.

-- Michael

# Michael Doran, Systems Librarian
# University of Texas at Arlington
# 817-272-5326 office
# 817-688-1926 cell
# doran@uta.edu
# http://rocky.uta.edu/doran/

[1] THE UNIVERSITY[ OF CONNECTICUT]'S POLICY ON INVENTIONS:
Copyright Ownership:  The University's copyright policy is also based on
Connecticut law ( C.G.S., Sec. 10a-110g) which specifies that any
literary, artistic, musical or other product of authorship covered by
actual or potential copyright belongs to the author(s). In those
instances where such works have been produced at the direct request of
the University with specific financial support from the institution or
with "substantial use" of University resources (equipment, facilities
and support staff), the University should seek a reasonable return upon
commercialization. To do so, the author may be required to assign rights
to such copyright to the University.  Such works also include software.
Also, if copyrightable material is produced under a grant or sponsored
research agreement awarded to the University and the University needs to
fulfill a contractual obligation, the author is required to assign
rights to such copyright to the University.
[from]  University of Connecticut > Policies > Research Collaborations
with Industrial Partners
http://policy.uconn.edu:8080/UConnPolicy/pages/findPolicy.jsp?policyId=3
33

[2] University of Connecticut > Center for Science and Technology
Commercialization > Information for Inventors > How It's Done
http://cstc.uchc.edu/inventors/how_done.html
(Although you aren't trying to commercialize your software application,
the technology transfer office is usually the starting point for getting
OS-release permission.)

[3] As an example, the link below is for the "open source" license that
our University mandates.
http://rocky.uta.edu/doran/lita/LITA2005-Doran-suppl-UTAcopyright.pdf

[4] The New Books List:   An Open Source Software Case Study
    Michael Doran, Systems Librarian, University of Texas at Arlington

http://www.ala.org/ala/lita/litaevents/litanationalforum2005sanjoseca/NF
2005concurrent.htm
The New Books List is a database-backed web application that was
developed in-house at the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries and
was subsequently released as open source software. It is now in use at
over 300 libraries in 34 states and 9 countries. Using this application
as an example, the session will cover the design, marketing, support,
and intellectual property issues that arise when a locally created
software application is released as open source.
If you are a LITA member (I'm not), you can get a copy at:
http://www.ala.org/ala/lita/litaevents/litanationalforum2005sanjoseca/05
forumsched.htm
If you are not a LITA member, it is temporarily available at:
http://rocky.uta.edu/doran/lita/

> -----Original Message-----
> From: oss4lib-discuss-admin@lists.sourceforge.net
> [mailto:oss4lib-discuss-admin@lists.sourceforge.net ] On
> Behalf Of Dave Bretthauer
> Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 1:31 PM
> To: oss4lib-discuss@lists.sourceforge.net
> Subject: [oss4lib-discuss] advice/experience sought regarding
> use of OS licenses in your projects
>
> Hi,
>
> We at University of Connecticut have been working on a
> project for close to a year. We'd like to make it available
> to others using an open source license, but as this
> organization is fairly new to the development side
> of open source, we're puzzling over which license would be most
> appropriate for us to use.
>
> Opensource.org now lists 58 licenses it has approved as open source
> licenses. Do those of you who've developed open source projects have a
> preference for which license you use? If so, why?
>
> If you're willing to share your experiences of which licenses you've
> used, and why you would or would not use them again, I'd be very
> interested in hearing them.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Dave
>
> +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+
> Dave Bretthauer
> Enterprise Team Leader
> Network Services Librarian
> University of Connecticut Libraries
> 369 Fairfield Way U-2005-05SY
> Storrs, CT 06269-2005
> Voice: (860) 486-6494
> Fax: (860) 486-2184
> http://www.lib.uconn.edu/~dbretthauer
>
>
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>
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>
>
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> see also http://oss4lib.org/
>


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