Open Project Rules

This version of the OASIS Open Project (OP) Rules was approved by the OASIS Board of Directors on 29 June 2021 and became effective immediately. The change was announced to OASIS members on 09 July 2021 in https://lists.oasis-open.org/archives/members/202107/msg00002.html

Table of Contents

1. Purpose of Open Projects

An OASIS Open Project (or Project) is a program hosted by OASIS for the development of code, specifications and other artifacts under open source licenses, under one or more of the Applicable Licenses listed in Section 15, and selected by the Project as specified below. OASIS Open Projects are conducted according to the provisions of these Rules. The OASIS Committee Operations Process provides general provisions concerning the operation of all committees that may apply to the work of a Project Governing Board (PGB). Certain defined terms used in this document have the meaning provided in the OASIS Defined Terms.

Any person or entity, whether or not an OASIS member, may participate in or contribute to a Project, as provided by these rules. Contributions, and the acceptance or merger of contributions into the Project’s work, are managed primarily through one or more open source Project Repositories (as defined in Section 8).

Projects operate under the administrative and process rules described in this document, and are administered by the OASIS Open Project Administrator designated by OASIS.

2. Project Formation

2.1 OASIS Open Projects are initiated by one or more organizations committed to being Project Sponsors and (optionally) persons who intend to make technical contributions to the Project. Any group of at least one or more Project Sponsors whose aggregate project sponsorship dues equal or exceed the minimum threshold established by a resolution of the OASIS Board of Directors, plus one or more named Contributors, may initiate a Project by submitting to the Open Project Administrator a Charter prepared using the Open Project Charter Template maintained and made available by the Open Project Administrator. Additional membership requirements apply to some approval activities as noted below. The Charter shall be written in English and provided to OASIS in electronic form as plain text. The name proposed for the Project shall be subject to approval by the Open Project Administrator for purposes of confirming infringement and appropriate use issues. If the proposed name includes a reference to an OASIS Technical Committee (TC) or specification title, or the name of another Open Project, then the approval of any open OASIS TC or Open Project who uses that name or has authored that specification is required in advance. No information other than that requested in the template may be included in the proposal. Any documents referenced in the proposal shall be publicly available.

The Charter must include a brief statement of purpose and a scope of work for the Project. The scope of work serves as a limit on the approval of Project Standards Track Work Products. The statement of purpose is only informative, not normative. The Charter also must state the number of Project Repositories initially requested to support the Project, and the Applicable License to be applied to each requested repository.

2.2 The Open Project Administrator shall reply in writing with its approval or other disposition of the proposal described above. OASIS shall post a public notice of each approved Project to its announced public mailing list.

2.3 After formation, the Charter of an Open Project may be amended only as provided in Section 5.6.

3. Roles of Parties in the Project

The work of a Project and its administration are conducted by parties who voluntarily contribute in one or more of the following defined roles: Contributor, Maintainer, Project Governing Board (PGB), Technical Steering Committee (TSC), and Chair. A detailed and definitive description of those roles follows in Sections 4, 5, 6 ,and 7 below. A table summarizing those roles can be found in the OASIS Committee Operations Process.

4. Contributors

4.1 Any person (whether or not an OASIS member) may participate in a Project as a Contributor by providing comments or bug reports to a Project Repository, subject to the licensing rules in Sections 14, 15 and 16 below.

4.2 Any person (whether or not an OASIS member) may agree to a Contributor License Agreement (CLA), as provided in the licensing rules below, as a prerequisite for acceptance of their pull requests or other substantive contributions. If a person who signs and submits an individual CLA indicates that they represent an entity, then that individual CLA will only be deemed effective if that entity has signed and submitted an entity CLA. The Project Governing Board and Maintainers shall only act on pull requests or other substantive contributions made by project Contributors who are listed in the OASIS system as having agreed to the relevant CLA. The Project shall maintain a record of all Contributors who have made contributions to a Project.

5. Project Governing Board and Project Sponsors

5.1 Overall guidance for the Project is provided by its Project Governing Board (or PGB). The PGB is composed of one voting member from each Project Sponsor who elects to appoint a PGB member, and at least one voting at-large expert representative from the community of contributors, elected or appointed by the Technical Steering Committee (TSC). The PGB may create additional PGB member seats for expert representatives to be elected by the TSC or appointed by the PGB.

A list of PGB members shall be maintained and posted at the general information web page designated by OASIS for the Project. Certain actions taken by the PGB require affirmative action by Project Approval Minimum Membership, as defined below.

5.2 PGB members must:

  • (a) have signed and submitted an individual CLA, and if appointed by an entity, that entity must have signed and submitted an entity CLA naming that project; and
  • (b) either (i) represent an organization that has paid the appropriate Backer dues for that Open Project or (ii) has been appointed or elected as an expert representative as provided above.

5.3 Project Approval Minimum Membership, where it explicitly is required for the PGB’s approval of an action under these rules, means at least two Project Sponsors seated on the PGB.

5.4 The PGB shall:

Decisions by the PGB shall be made in a manner consistent with the requirements of Section 10.

5.5 Status as a PGB member who represents an organization accrues to the organizational Project Sponsor, and is transferable by that Project Sponsor from person to person, as evidenced by a notice in writing from its Primary Representative to the OASIS Open Project Administrator. A Project Sponsor may resign from PGB membership at any time, by notifying the Open Project Administrator and the PGB Chair(s) in writing.

5.6 The PGB may amend the Charter after the Project’s formation in the following manner:

(a) An amendment to the binding scope of work may only be made for the purpose of removing ambiguity or for narrowing the scope of work, and requires a Special Majority Vote  of the PGB. Such an amendment may also at the PGB’s option update the statement of purpose, list of planned deliverables and/or list of repositories and licenses.
(b) Any amendment to other elements of the Charter may be made by a Full Majority Vote  of the PGB, so long as and any additions to the list of deliverables are within the scope of
work.
(c) In any case, any amended Charter must comply with the requirements of Section 2.1, and shall not take effect until approved by the PGB and announced by the Open Project Administrator.

6. Technical Steering Committees

The PGB shall form a Technical Steering Committee (or TSC) by a resolution of the PGB. A Project’s TSC members shall be composed of the persons, selected in the manner, and chaired by such person as is provided by that resolution. The PGB must create and publish process documentation, outlining the requirements for joining and voting in the project’s TSC. The TSC shall have the duties to advise the PGB and such others as are specified by the PGB, so long as consistent with these Rules and OASIS policies. The following activities may not be delegated by the PGB, although it may consult with the TSC regarding them at the PGB’s option: election or termination of PGB Chairs, approval of any Releases, Group Releases, Project Specification Drafts, Project Specifications, and approval of candidates for OASIS Standards or external submissions.

TSC members must have signed and submitted an individual CLA, and if appointed by an entity, that entity must have signed and submitted an entity CLA. A list of TSC members shall be maintained and posted at the general information web page designated by OASIS for the Project. An individual may resign from TSC membership at any time, by notifying the Open Project Administrator and the Chair(s) in writing.

7. Project Chairs and Maintainers

7.1 The PGB shall select one or two of its members as Chairs by a Full Majority Vote, to coordinate and manage Project decision-making and logistics. The PGB may remove a Chair at any time by a Full Majority Vote. The Chair(s) of the Project shall:

  • (a) be responsible for the coordination and polling of any decisions of the PGB
  • (b) convene and make arrangements for any desired virtual or physical face-to-face meetings of the PGB and/or Contributors
  • (c) assist and support the Maintainer(s) as appropriate
  • (d) be responsible as the Project’s principal point of contact with OASIS staff and resources as needed
  • (e) manage or provide for the management of communications with Contributors, any liaisons and the public as may be desirable in support of the Project’s goals.

If a PGB does not have at least one Chair then all PGB activities, with the exception of the selection of a new Chair, are suspended. If a PGB does not have a Chair for 180 days, the Open Project Administrator may declare the PGB closed. After closure of the PGB, the Project may no longer take actions that require the approval of the PGB.

7.2 The PGB shall ensure that there are one or more Maintainers to serve as the principal editor(s) of the Project’s technical work managed within its Project Repositories. Maintainers shall exercise editorial responsibility over the contents of the Project’s repositories, including by:

  • (a) evaluating and responding to pull requests
  • (b) designating main or recommended branches of each repository
  • (c) designating deprecated branches or contributions.

Maintainers should act to carry out the technical consensus of the TSC, Contributors, and PGB, and may be removed by the PGB at any time, after notice to the Maintainer and the TSC, for failure to perform their functions as determined by the PGB. No contributed information or pull requests may be deleted from any Project Repository, due to the open nature of the Applicable Licenses and the Archival Permanence rules in Section 9.2. The appointment of a Maintainer survives the closure of the PGB, and thereafter the remaining Maintainer(s) or the Open Projects Administrator may appoint additional or replacement Maintainers.

8. Repositories and Project Tools

8.1 OASIS will create and support official repositories for each Project (Project Repositories) using tools, selected and configured by staff that are clearly marked as a distinct resource. OASIS will initialize each Project Repository as a distinct open source project, including issue tracking, comment facilities, and such other facilities as are normally available by default.

8.2 The Project’s official Project Tools include the Project’s Repositories and these additional tools: A principal web page for each Project, which may be the home resource page of the Project’s first Project Repository, and optionally, one or more mailing lists for administration of the Project. Subscription to such lists, which shall be subject to the OASIS Mailing List Guidelines, shall be open to anyone.

9. Visibility and Archival Permanence

9.1 Visibility. Contributions, comments, decisions, records of decisions and all other resources of the Project, including web pages, documents, mailing lists and any other records of discussions, must be located only on the Project Tools designated or authorized by OASIS. Projects may not conduct official business or technical discussions, store documents, or host web pages on servers or systems not designated by OASIS. All Project Tools shall be publicly visible, and all threaded and mail list discussions shall be publicly archived.

9.2 Archival Permanence. OASIS warrants that it will not inhibit open and free access to all of the material contributed to each Project Repository, as open and freely available resources. This warranty is perpetual and will not be revoked by OASIS or its successors or assigns; however, neither OASIS nor its assigns shall be obligated to:

  • (a) perpetually maintain its own existence, nor
  • (b) provide for the perpetual existence of a website or other public means of accessing such material, nor
  • (c) maintain any material which it is legally required to remove from publication.

Some contributed material may be treated as superseded or deprecated by Maintainers or by version control methods, as provided in these rules, but neither Maintainers nor any other party shall delete content. The original form of each contribution shall continue to be available for review, and use according to its licensure, through appropriate version control or document management methodologies.

9.3 Repository Lifecycle. Once a Project Repository has been created, it will remain open as a resource for public use and reference, and continuing repository contributions or comments, regardless of closure of the Project, under the Archival Permanence rule above, with such remaining Maintainers as may have been appointed.

9.4 Announcements. The Open Project Administrator shall create a publicly archived, subscribable list for announcements and public notices from OASIS regarding Open Projects. Every important change in Project status shall be posted to that list, including Project formation; opening of a new Project Repository; Releases; Group Releases; Draft Project Specifications; Project Specifications; Candidate OASIS Standards; and proposed external submissions.

10. Project Governance: Decisions and Meetings

10.1 Decisions by the PGB regarding the matters allocated to them by these rules normally should be made after reasonable notice to and consultation with the Project’s Contributors, and should be made by consensus except in cases where a specific majority vote is required by these rules. The Chair(s) of the Project are responsible for conducting and administrating the decision processes of the PGB and the Project, consistent with these rules.

10.2 Meetings of the PGB and any TSC must be properly called by the Chair(s) and scheduled in advance using the OASIS collaborative communication Project Tools. Meetings may be conducted face-to-face or via telephone conference or other electronic media that allow participation of all PGB members. In order to enable the openness of proceedings, meetings also should be scheduled and conducted to permit the presence of as many Contributors as is logistically feasible. A note of each meeting’s outcomes must be posted to a publicly accessible location provided by OASIS. Meetings or decisions scheduled or conducted so as to exclude the participation of any PGB member or Contributor are subject to appeal to the Open Project Administrator.

10.3 Electronic ballots of the PGB, when required by these rules, must be conducted on facilities provided or approved by OASIS, and must remain open for a minimum period for seven days. The Chair(s) may specify a longer voting period for a particular electronic ballot. Eligible voters may change their vote up until the end of the voting period.

11. Progression of Project Work

11.1 In addition to making available the contributions provided by Contributors, via their Project Repositories, Projects may designate specific portions of their output as official Releases, Group Releases, Project Specification Drafts or Project Specifications, and nominate them for further advancement, on the terms set forth in Sections 11, 12, 13 and 14.

12.2 Where the PGB or a consensus among the Contributors indicates that a specific set of contributions should be formally considered as a Release, Group Release, Draft Project Specification or Project Specification, then in preparation for that consideration, the Maintainers shall arrange the relevant material in the relevant Project Repository or repositories so that the set can be accessed and referenced as a distinct branch (a Designated Branch).

12. Releases and Group Releases

12.1 Releases. The PGB may act to approve a Designated Branch as an official Release of the Project, after giving notice to all Contributors via the Project Tools at least fourteen days prior to initiating a PGB vote or consensus call. Such approval decisions are subject to the process, notice and transparency provisions of these rules. Any product of the Project that is composed from contributions to the Project Repositories, of any nature, is eligible for approval as a Release of the Project.

12.2 Group Releases. When desirable to aggregate outputs, the PGB may act to approve any set of the Project’s Releases or subsets of Releases as an official Group Release of the Project, after giving notice to all Contributors via the Project Tools at least fourteen days prior to initiating a PGB vote or consensus call. Such approval decisions are subject to the process, notice and transparency provisions of these rules. Group Releases may include multiple Releases that bear different Applicable Licenses. Aggregate contributions by Maintainers or others which are prepared as potential Project Specifications should instead be approved as Project Specification Drafts, as provided below.

12.3 Licensing. Releases and Group Releases bear only the license rights and covenants provided for each of the contributions included there, as evidenced by the relevant repositories’ Applicable License(s) and the CLAs.

13. Project Specifications

13.1 In order to progress a Release or Group Release by the Project as a Project Specification Draft (or PSD) or a Project Specification (or PS), the PGB and the contents of the release(s) must satisfy the additional criteria of this Section.

13.2 In order to be advanced through the approval process, a proposed Project Specification must conform to the Project Specification template provided by the Open Project Administrator, which includes methods for indicating the relevant Designated Branches and Applicable Licenses. Proposed Project Specification Drafts also should conform to that template, to the extent possible.

13.3 Project Specification Drafts. A PGB having at least Project Approval Minimum Membership may act to approve any set of contributions to the Project, including from its Releases or Group Releases, as an official Project Specification Draft, after giving notice to all Contributors via the Project Tools at least fourteen days prior to initiating a PGB vote or consensus call. Such approval decisions are subject to the process, notice and transparency provisions of these rules.

13.4 Project Specifications. A PGB having at least Project Approval Minimum Membership may act to approve any Project Specification Draft as a Project Specification, by satisfying each of the following requirements:

  • (a) Written notice of that nomination must be given by the PGB to all those involved with the Project and the Open Project Administrator at least fourteen days prior to initiating a ballot. The ballot must be conducted by a Special Majority Vote of the PGB. The approval decision is subject to the process, notice and transparency rules set forth in these rules and the content requirements noted below.
  • (b) Any machine-executable instructions in a specific computer language (code) that are included in the Project Specification must be composed only of one or more Releases or Group Releases bearing Implementer-Class Licenses.
  • (c) Any guidance, descriptions, processes, models for the behavior of a system or service, or other content that is not machine-executable, and is included in the Project Specification, must be composed only of contributions (which may include Releases or Group Releases) previously made to a Project Repository.
  • (d) The proposed Project Specification will be subject to review and confirmation of conformance by the Open Project Administrator before the approval ballot is opened.

13.5 Upon successful conclusion of the Special Majority Vote, the Open Project Administrator must give public written notice thereof, which constitutes approval, and thereafter will publish the Project Specification to the OASIS Library.

13.6 Licensing. Project Specifications bear the license rights and covenants provided for each contribution included there, as evidenced by the relevant repositories’ Applicable License(s) and the CLAs, as well as the Specification NonAssertion Covenant. Project Specifications may bear more than one Applicable License, when composed from Releases or Group Releases from multiple Project Repositories that have different Applicable Licenses.

13.7 Implementations of all kinds are welcome (partial or complete; prototype, proof-of-concept, example, model, or reference implementations), provided that PGBs may not designate any single implementation of a Project Specification as exclusive or privileged.

14. OASIS Standard Approval and External Submissions

Project Specifications are eligible for and may be submitted for approval as OASIS Standards, under the following conditions:

  • (a) After three Statements of Use referencing the PS have been presented to the PGB, a PGB having at least Project Approval Minimum Membership may approve the PS as a candidate for OASIS Standard in the same manner, and subject to the same requirements, as apply to Committee Specifications as provided in Section 3.8 Approval of an OASIS Standard of the OASIS TC Process. Procedural requirements applicable to TCs in that rule apply to the PGB for this purpose, including the Special Majority Vote required to nominate a Project Specification for OASIS Standard. However, a candidate for OASIS Standard submitted by an Open Project shall be subject to the distinct licensing terms in these rules, and not the licensing terms in the OASIS IPR Policy for TCs.
  • (b) Upon a successful conclusion of that PGB vote and all other requirements, the OASIS TC Administrator shall proceed with public review and a call for consent as provided in Sections 3.8.2 and 3.8.3 of the OASIS TC Process. An OASIS Standard submitted by an Open Project and approved as provided above is eligible for further external submissions as provided in and subject to the requirements in the OASIS Liaison Policy. The PGB must have at least Project Approval Minimum Membership at the time of any such action or approval; the other procedural requirements applicable to TCs in that policy apply to the PGB for this purpose.

15. Repository and Specification Licenses

15.1 Applicable Licenses; Copyright Implementation Licenses. Each Project Repository will be subject to a declared Applicable License, selected from the list of licenses in this section. Each Contributor agrees in the CLA to grant the Applicable License designated for a repository to all contributions donated to that repository by posting it or requesting its inclusion in that repository, and to all Releases issued from that repository.

Anyone may offer comments to any Project Repository, on the terms of the foregoing licenses, as evidenced in the manner noted below. Anyone will be entitled to make use of the contents of a Project Repository, according to the terms of its Applicable License.

15.2 When requesting the creation of a Project Repository, the PGB must select that repository’s Applicable License from among the following list:

Other widely-used free and open source licenses may be added to this list after review and acceptance by OASIS and amendment of these rules.

15.3 Special Covenants for Project Specifications. In addition to the Applicable License for each Project Repository, each Contributor also agrees in the CLA to provide the additional covenants in this Section 15.3, as non-assertion covenants in favor of certain Project Specifications (collectively the Specification NonAssertion Covenant):

Contributor Covenant for Specifications. As a Contributor, you irrevocably covenant that you will not assert any patent claims licensable by you that are necessarily infringed by an implementation of your contribution to the extent that contribution is included in a Project Specification approved by the Open Project to which you made the contribution, against OASIS or any other parties who the Applicable License benefits, for making, having made, using, marketing, importing, offering to sell, selling, and otherwise distributing works that Implement or Derive From your contribution.

PGB Covenant for Specifications. For any Project Repository whose Applicable License is an Implementer-Class License, if you (or your representative) are a member of that Open Project’s Governing Board, you irrevocably covenant that you will not assert any patent claims licensable by you that are necessarily infringed by an implementation of a Project Specification approved by that Open Project within the scope of work of its Charter in effect at the time such deliverable was approved, and any Maintenance Deliverable approved for it, against OASIS or any other parties who the Applicable License benefits, for making, having made, using, marketing, importing, offering to sell, selling, and otherwise distributing works that Implement or Derive From that Project Specification and are compliant with all normative portions thereof. If you withdraw from the PGB, then this obligation continues to apply, but only with respect to those Project Specification Drafts approved more than 7 calendar days prior to your withdrawal, and to any Maintenance Deliverables approved for those specifications thereafter.

Scope of Implementations Benefited. As used in this covenant, works that “Implement or Derive From” a contribution or specification include:

  • (a) specifications to the extent derived from code
  • (b) independent code implementations of a specification
  • (c) independent code implementations of a specification to the extent the specification is derived from code.

For purposes of this definition, “specifications” include documentation, data flows, data formats, application programming interfaces and process descriptions.

Withdrawal from Covenant. Your Specification NonAssertion Covenant may be suspended or revoked by you with respect to any person who alleges in writing or files a suit asserting that your Contribution, or the work to which you have contributed, constitutes direct or contributory patent infringement.

16. Trademarks

In order to incorporate a trademark or service mark into a Project, including its use in the name of an OASIS Open Project or any Release, or its inclusion in the body of such work, that mark must be:

  • (a) owned by OASIS; or
  • (b) otherwise as approved by the OASIS Board of Directors.

No person may use an OASIS trademark or service mark in connection with an Open Project, a Release or otherwise, except in compliance with the Applicable License for a Release or otherwise according to such license and usage guidelines as OASIS may from time to time require.

17. CLAs and License Notices

17.1 A Contributor License Agreement (or CLA) shall bind each donor of a repository contribution, issue or comment of any kind to the repository’s Applicable License. All Contributions to Project Repositories shall be subject to an Individual CLA, in the form of Appendix A-1 to these rules, by which all persons making those Contributions are bound. Where Contributions are made by or on behalf of an organization, the responsible individual will designate that organization in their Individual CLA, and that organization will be asked to provide an Entity CLA, in the form of Appendix A-2 to these rules. If that Entity CLA is not obtained, OASIS and the Project must decline contributions from that individual.

Project Sponsors who appoint a member to the PGB must provide an Entity CLA, and the persons appointed by them as PGB members must provide an Individual CLA in order to serve.

Members of OASIS who provide an Entity CLA must provide the signature (or assent) of their OASIS Primary Representative. Individuals who represent an organization also are required by the Individual CLA to obtain an Entity CLA for that organization.

17.2 While some nominal write-access privileges (such as adding issues and comments) may be granted automatically to the public by the Project Tools, only persons who have signed the CLA will be permitted to submit content other than comments or suggestions for Non-Material Changes.

17.3. Each person making a Project Repository contribution must be bound to the terms of the Individual CLA, by obtaining their signature (which may be an equivalent electronic assent) in a manner appropriate to the tools employed to implement that repository; and those signatures shall be recorded and maintained in an auditable manner. Organizational Entity CLA signatures must also be obtained, recorded and maintained in a similar manner.

17.4. Notices of the Applicable License applicable to each Project Repository shall be conspicuously visible both from each repository’s contribution channels (for potential submitters of material) and its home resource pages (for potential readers and users).

17.5 Each Repository and its contribution facility shall be conspicuously marked with the following Call for Patent Disclosure:

[OASIS requests that any party contact the OASIS Open Project Administrator if it is aware of a claim of ownership of any patent claims that would necessarily be infringed by implementations of an OASIS Project Specification; and that any such claimant provide an indication of its willingness to grant a Specification Non-Assertion Covenant with respect to such patent claims, or otherwise to negotiate patent licenses free of charge with other parties on a non-discriminatory basis on reasonable terms and conditions.]

[OASIS may include such claims on its website, but disclaims any obligation to do so. OASIS takes no position regarding the validity or scope of any intellectual property or other rights that might be claimed to pertain to the implementation or use of the technology described in an OASIS Project Specification, or the extent to which any license under such rights might or might not be available; neither does it represent that it has made any effort to identify any such rights.]

18. Appeals and Application of Rules

The appeals process provided in Section 4.2 of the OASIS TC Process also shall apply to the actions of the OASIS Open Project Administrator, which may be appealed as provided therein.

Changes to these rules shall apply to previously-established Open Projects upon their adoption. However, OASIS may not change the terms of any signed CLA once it has been delivered to OASIS; if a change is required a new CLA must be executed.


Appendix A-1: Individual CLA

OASIS Open Projects: Individual Contributor License Agreement (CLA)

The text and links to file i-CLAs for Open Projects are available at https://www.oasis-open.org/open-projects/cla/oasis-open-projects-individual-contributor-license-agreement-i-cla/ .


Appendix A-2: Entity CLA

OASIS Open Projects: Entity Contributor License Agreement (CLA)

The text and link to file an e-CLA for an Open Project is available at https://www.oasis-open.org/open-projects/cla/entity-cla-20210630/.