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Software Ownership and Licensing

The goal of CIG is to develop software in support of Earth science research and education. Since a major aim is for the widest availability and impact of all CIG developments and software, all software CIG develops will be open source.

In order to uphold these principles, CIG adopts this Policy with the following aspects:

  1. CIG will maintain a software repository on the World Wide Web at in which software can be checked out without restrictions as software is developed. In order to ensure the quality of CIG software, the privilege to check software back into the repository by members of the CIG community will be made on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Some software will be solely developed by the CIG staff. In such cases, the copyright will be retained by the Regents of the University of California and distributed under the Free Software Foundation’s GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), unless otherwise stated.
  3. Some software will be written in collaboration between CIG staff and other organization(s) or individual(s). In each case, but before the collaboration is initiated, CIG must enter into an agreement that clearly specifies who the copyright holder(s) will be and the terms of the software release. When possible, copyright shall belong to all contributing parties, and the software released under the GNU GPL.
  4. Some software will be preexisting and not necessarily free from existing third-party copyrights and licenses. In the event that CIG wishes to use or to modify, improve, and/or distribute such software, CIG will, with its collaborators, determine who the copyright holders are and enter into an agreement to have the resulting software released under an open source license, preferably the GNU GPL. In exceptional cases, CIG will consider a different license as long as it is free for non-commercial use but otherwise satisfies the principles of open source software.
  5. In order to maximize the benefit to the Community, the details of this policy may change from time to time, but such changes will always be subject to Member input and discussion and then final approval by the CIG Executive Committee.


As Adopted by the CIG Executive Committee on October 17, 2005.