Opening Principles of source codes

Preamble

Principle of subsidiarity

Politics can be instantiated locally with a higher priority.

See the instantiation section if you want to decline this policy within your organization.

Contribution Policy Assistance

Contact opensource @ data.gouv.fr for any questions about this policy.

Principle of attribution of contributions

Attribute contributions to individuals

In order to recognize authorship, the developer’s individual email address is used:

  • For agents: use of the professional email address.
  • For service providers, use the email address of their company (no contractor email address provided by the administration)

If a developer does not wish to see his identity published, he can use a pseudonym. On the other hand, the use of generic or anonymous email addresses should be avoided.

Differentiate professional and personal contributions

It is possible for a developer to contribute on the same project professionally and privately. The State is recognizing developers’ property on contributions made outside of working time. Contributions made to the professional time must be associated with a professional email address.

Contribute to third-party projects

Default permission to contribute to FSF or OSI licensed projects

Contributions to existing projects with FSF or OSI licenses are allowed by default. Licenses validated by the Free Software Foundation and Open Source Initiative and listed on their respective pages:

Conversely, licenses not retained by these organizations (such as * Beerware *) do not fall under the default authorization. A consolidated table of licenses validated by one or the other organization is maintained on the site https://spdx.org/licenses/

Signature of Corporate Contributor License Agreement

The DINSIC is responsible for signing the Corporate Contributor License Agreement (CCLA) with the communities or companies that require it, in order to allow the professional contributions of the civil servant. If this is requested by the other party, it will maintain a lists of individuals covered by the agreement. Another possibility is that the CCLA is a prerequisite for signing an individual Contributor License Agreement (iCLA). In this case, the signature of a CCLA by the DINSIC will serve as a pre-authorization to sign iCLA.

If you wish to contribute to a project requiring this type of formalism, whether it is to sign a CCLA, add you to the list of authorized contributors, or check the possibility of signing an iCLA, contact the assistance address indicated above.

List of CCLAs signed:

  • At this stage, no CCLA has been signed by the DINSIC.

Contribute by publishing a new project

The publication of the source code creates neither obligation nor guarantee

  • No obligation to support and take into account the requests of the users nor more generally obligation to animate the community.
  • No guarantees beyond what is provided by the license.

Default permission to contribute a new project under the licenses listed by the decree

The state is not intended to be a software editor. Apart from the three exceptions of the Law for a Digital Republic for which you can contact the support e-mail address in case of question, there is no prior authorization required from the DINSIC. However, please refer to your supervisor before publishing a new project in your organization’s account.

As a reminder, the licenses to use are available by decree on the site: http://www.data.gouv.fr/fr/licences.

Elements to consider when choosing a free/open-source software license

When the Administration has reason to ensure that third-party modifications to the software are accessible under the same conditions, it will consider a reciprocal license. In particular, if it is a software that is the basis of an online service for which it wishes to prevent any re-appropriation, it may consider the GNU Affero General Public License. In other cases, it will consider permissive licenses.

The choice of the license of a project need also to take into account the third-party components included in its technical framework, according to the modalities of their technical relations.

The ecosystem where the project is located may also guide the choice of the license, within the limits of the previous criteria.

Note that software solutions are often modular and the issue of licensing can arise at many levels. For example, for a website solution, the modules of the web interface may be published under a different license than the server-side source code.

Developer Certificate of Origin (DCO)

Projects published by the State do not require specific rights of contributors apart from those granted by their respective licenses (no use of CLA). On the other hand, contributors are requested to sign a Certificate of Origin of Contributions (Developer Certificate of Origin). A French translation is available in this repository.