About the Outercurve Foundation


The mission of the Outercurve Foundation is to enable the exchange of code and understanding among software companies and open source communities. In practice this means providing software IP management and project development governance to enable and encourage organizations to develop software collaboratively in open source communities for faster results.


The Basics

The Outercurve Foundation is a 501c(6) non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors that operates according to an approved set of bylaws. The vision and policy of the foundation are determined by the Board, and any agreements entered into by the Foundation are approved by the Board. Corporate and Gallery Sponsors fund the Foundation. A board appointed Executive Director with a small staff oversees day-to-day operations.

In November 2010, as a result of amendments to our by-laws, the Outercurve Foundation announced the creation of membership classes and an expansion in the number of seats on our Board of Directors. In addition, provisions were made to establish a Technical Advisory Board (TAB). This Board will be populated by gallery managers, project leaders, and project committers. Members of the TAB will be eligible to serve on the Board of Directors after completing a one year term on the TAB. We anticipate holding elections for the first TAB slate later in 2011.

The Details

The Outercurve Foundation provides a framework to facilitate the participation of corporate software developers in open source projects, either through intellectual property contributions to the foundation or through time volunteered under the auspices of the foundation to enable development work on open source projects. The Outercurve Foundation also provides a channel of communication from the open source community back to Foundation sponsors and other software companies, advancing the dialog between software companies and open source communities.

To enable companies and individuals to make contributions to the foundation we have prepared the following documents to allow for both assignment and license of copyrights or patents to the foundation. Projects who wish to be a part of the foundation use these agreements as a starting point for making their contribution:

  • Our by-laws.These are the ground rules established by the Board of Directors for the operation of the foundation. On November 2010, the Board approved a series of amendments to the by-laws that facilitate the expansion of the Board, new membership and sponsorship categories, and provides indemnification to project committers.
  • Our contribution agreement. This serves as the mechanism for how companies or individuals may license copyrights and patents to the Foundation.
  • Our assignment agreement. This serves as the mechanism for how companies or individuals may assign copyright and license patent contributions to the Foundation.
  • Our project proposal guidelines. The first step in accepting a project into the Outercurve Foundation is to propose the project.
  • Our project development practices. These are the practices and guidelines project managers and committers use developing their projects at the Foundation.
  • Our conflict of interest policy. This was adopted by the Board of Directors to protect the interests of the organization when it is contemplating entering into a transaction or arrangement that might benefit the private interest of an officer or member of the Board of the organization or might result in a possible excess benefit transaction.

The Outercurve Foundation projects release intellectual property under a standard open source license. Project leaders determine which open source license depending on the needs and constraints of the open source project in question. The only requirement on the license is that it is an Open Source Initiative approved license.

September 2009 CodePlex Foundation launched with interim Board of Directors
October 2009 Project Acceptance and Operations Guidelines released
November 2009 ASP.NET Open Source Gallery opened
February 2010 Executive Director hired
March 2010 System Infrastructure and Integration (SIIG) Gallery opened
March 2010 Permanent Board of Directors elected by interim Board
May 2010 Technical Director hired
September 2010 CodePlex Foundation renamed to Outercurve Foundation
October 2010 Research Accelerators Gallery opened
November 2010 By-laws amended to expand Board, establish membership structure, and indemnify committers



Outercurve "Foundation in a Box"
View more presentations from outercurve.
    View video of Outercurve Foundation president, Sam Ramji present at Microsoft Research eScience event.