I've been doing Open-Source Software work for a number of years, familiar with all the soup of various OSS licences and models (and being a fan of BSD for its simplicity), but most of my OSS contributions were on a volunteer basis, and looking at it from a commercial standpoint, it would seem that I've never encountered an OSS take on Master Service AgreementsMSA — which are the bilateral contracts that get signed between the developer and/or corp doing the work and the customer and/or corp actually paying for it.

Are there any known Master Service Agreements that are themselves open-source, and facilitate custom development of software, which are friendly to open-source and explicitly authorise drive-by upstreaming, as well as make it easier to perform development in such a way that most of the results of the work could be open-sourced in some form (e.g., by allowing the developer to create OSS libraries as the main task of work), perhaps similar in some form to the MariaDB Business Source Licence (BSL), but in an MSA context of creating a private contract for hire?

  • 3
  • @BartvanIngenSchenau, no, that one is specifically about upstreaming; this one is for initial development and MSA as a whole. – cnst Jan 8 at 19:04
  • Couldn't you just specify in the contract "the developed software will be licensed as BLAH." where BLAH is something that you agree on with your client? If you want your client to agree that it is licensed under OSS then you must negotiate that, just like everything else in your contract. – Brandin Jan 9 at 6:21
  • @Brandin, yeah, couldn't you just use the BSD licence everywhere? To your analogy, what's the point of GPL? – cnst Jan 9 at 18:20
  • @cnst It depends on what you agree on with your client. If you retain the copyright to the software, for example, you are free to license it to them under whatever license is convenient for them, and then additionally release it yourself as open source (if you wish) using whatever license you want. This is more of a contract negotiation question. – Brandin Jan 10 at 5:47

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.