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From: René Ferdinand Rivera Morell (grafikrobot_at_[hidden])
Date: 2024-02-15 04:33:14

Warning, I could be wrong in anything below as I have faulty memory. :-)

On Wed, Feb 14, 2024 at 7:14 PM Andrey Semashev via Boost
<boost_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> On 2/15/24 01:46, René Ferdinand Rivera Morell wrote:
> > On Wed, Feb 14, 2024 at 3:27 PM Andrey Semashev via Boost
> > <boost_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> >>
> >> I fully agree that the community should decide what will be on the
> >> website, content-wise. But given that the website is an important
> >> element of the Boost project infrastructure, I would expect Boost
> >> Foundation to own and manage it. This will affect what is written in the
> >> legal documents such as Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
> >
> > Can you be specific as to your meaning of "own" and "manage" in that?
> > What specifically is owned? What specifically is managed? Is it
> > intellectual ownership? Is it physical ownership?
> >
> > Items that could possibly be owned:
> > * The source code for the web site.
> > * The content for the web site.
> > * The user contributed content on the web site.
> > * The machines running the web site.
> > etc
> >
> > Items that could possibly be managed:
> > * The repository for the source code.
> > * The database for the content.
> > * The machines, and controlling accounts, for everything.
> > etc
> By owning I mean that Boost Foundation should have all rights over the
> website implementation.

"All rights" has a specific legal meaning. And applying it would rob
the developers of the product of their rights. Assuming they want to,
for example, keep the copyright on the source code. A few things to
upfront about..

* The Boost Foundation has historically owned almost nothing.
* When it was the Boost Steering Committee it owned nothing at all.
* Traditionally the Foundation subsidises and facilitates the work and
resources of others.
* Specifically the Foundation does not own the Boost Libraries or the
current website implementation.
* I, personally, own much of the current website implementation as I
initially wrote it. Although it evolved into shared ownership thanks
to contributions from others, like the incredible work of Daniel
James. All made possible by the use of BSL and individual donations of
server resources.

> This includes the rights to run, modify and
> distribute the code and media content (text, styling, images, video,
> audio, etc.) that constitutes the website implementation. This includes
> full access to GitHub repositories and other online services that are
> used to develop, build and deploy these materials.

Do you mean that the authors of the new website implementation need to
grant someone(s) sufficient rights? If so, then what we are talking
about is choosing an appropriate license and distribution mechanism.
If you are instead talking about transfering the copyright to the
Boost Foundation, then I would strongly oppose it.

> Boost Foundation must
> have full access to the machines and online accounts that are used for
> running the website, and preferably own them.

It is my understanding that it would be impossible for the Foundation
to own the various Azure VMs and caching proxies involved in running
the new website. Unless the Foundation is willing to employ a full
DevOps team with enough funding to procure hardware and bandwidth
indefinitely (think $1M/year range).

> For user-generated content, such as forum and blog posts, videos,
> comments, issues on the trackers, discussions, etc., as well as personal
> information provided through account registration, that content belongs
> to its authors, but Boost Foundation may reserve some rights, such as to
> be able to moderate and publish it. But, of course, we first have to
> decide what kind of content that will be and how we want to use it. Then
> there is the part where a lawyer would help to compose the legal
> agreement between Boost Foundation and users.

There's a common licensing arrangement for that. So, yes. But there
are variations that would need to get decided on. Like if it would be
needed to allow for full removal, on request, by the user to comply
with particular jurisdictions.

> For library content, such as library code, documentation, library logos,
> release notes, library list and so on, that content belongs to the
> library authors and maintainers and is licensed to Boost Foundation
> under the library license terms (which is usually the Boost Software
> License) to allow reproduction and distribution. This type of content
> should be explicitly distinct from the user-generated content, as it is
> not covered by the users' terms of use agreement.


> By managing I mean managing all the above assets and content. For
> example, Boost Foundation should be able to expand or reduce the amount
> of resources used for running the website (e.g. to accommodate for the
> changing load). Boost Foundation should be able to
> perform backups of the website, including user-generated content.

This is more commonly handled by designating someone (usually one or
more individuals or organizations) to deal with all such details.

> Boost Foundation should be able to moderate
> user-generated content and update the website content, e.g. on Boost
> releases or new library additions.

Traditionally that has never been done by the Foundation. And would be
a significant change of the duties and rights of the Foundation.
Currently, and previously, those duties fall on designated
individuals. Those individuals were picked nominally by consensus of
the community.

> This doesn't necessarily mean that Boost Foundation members will be
> doing all of this by themselves. Some things can be automated, other
> things can be done by trusted volunteers from the community or hired
> staff, if needed. I believe this is pretty much how it happens today.

No, yes, but mostly no. The Foundation has close to zero involvement
in the "development, publication, and management of the Boost C++
Libraries product".

> But the important part is that the full control over the website should
> be in the Boost Foundation hands, not someone else's.

I agree that control of the web site should not be bound to any one
organization. And hence I agree that the Boost Foundation should not
own the web site.

> I would like to stress that I'm suggesting this not because I have
> reasons to distrust Vinnie or The C++ Alliance. I surely do not intend
> to offend anyone. Although I have my complaints, I think they can be
> only commended for all the work they are doing on the website.

As a C++ Alliance board member, thank you for the sentiment.

> However,
> The C++ Alliance is a commercial organization that is distinct from the
> Boost project, which is (at least, legally) represented by Boost
> Foundation.

The C++ Alliance is on equal footing to the Boost Foundation as it
pertains, legally, to the Boost C++ Libraries project. Neither owns
the actual product(s). Both support through resources and
contributions the development of the product(s). Currently, the Boost
Foundation legally owns the domain name (although I'm not
actually sure of this as the whois record is shielding the registered
owner). Also currently, the C++ Alliance owns the proposed website
implementation, as it was predominantly a work for hire.

> The website is supposed to be the face of the Boost project,
> and an important part of its functioning.

Indeed! And which the C++ Alliance is trying to improve upon.

> I think, the Boost project
> should be more self-sufficient and protected against disasters, mishaps
> and misbehavior of external parties.

I think having the C++ Alliance manage the resources and ongoing
development of the new website in an appropriately open manner is an
improvement in those respects from the current situation.

-- René Ferdinand Rivera Morell
-- Don't Assume Anything  -- No Supone Nada
-- Robot Dreams -

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