License Certification Due Diligence

With the changes in the Eclipse Intellectual Property (IP) Policy made in 2016, the Eclipse Foundation now offers two types of IP Due Diligence for the third-party software used by a project. Our Type A Due Diligence involves a license certification only and our Type B Due Diligence provides our traditional license certification, provenance check, and code scan for various sorts of anomalies. I’m excited by this development at least in part because it will help new projects get up to speed more quickly than they could have in the past.

Prior to this change, project teams would have to wait until the full application of what we now call Type B Due Diligence was complete before issuing a release. Now, a project team can opt to push out a Type A release after having all of their third-party libraries license certified.

A project team can decide what level of IP Due Diligence they require for each release. Hypothetically, a project team could opt to make several Type A releases followed by a Type B release, and then switch back. I can foresee this being something that project teams that need to engage in short release cycles will do.

We’ve solicited a few existing projects to try out the new IP Due Diligence type and have already approved a handful of third-party libraries as Type A. The EMO has also started assuming that all new projects use Type A (license certification) by default. As we move forward, we expect that all new projects will employ Type A Due Diligence for all incubation releases and then decide whether or not to switch to Type B (license certification, provenance check, and code scan) for their graduation. There is, of course, no specific requirement to switch at graduation or ever, but we’re going to encourage project teams to defer the decision of whether or not to switch from Type A until that point.

After graduation, project teams can decide what they want to do. We foresee at least some project teams opting to issue regular multiple Type A releases along with an annual Type B release (at this point in the time, there is no specific requirement to be Type A or Type B to participate in the simultaneous release).

We’ve started rolling out some changes to the infrastructure to support this update to the IP Due Diligence process. I’ll introduce those changes in my next post.

Update: Based on some Tweets, I changed my intended topic for the next post. Please see What’s Your (IP Due Diligence) Type?

Eclipse Converge

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