Miro backflips on Mambo copyright

Miro backflips on Mambo copyright

Summary: update Melbourne software company Miro will assign the intellectual property inherent in its open source Mambo content management system to the non-profit organisation it created to administer the application, despite earlier avowals not to do so. The move is the latest in an ongoing controversy which has seen the 19-member strong volunteer team developing the CMS withdraw their support from the project.

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TOPICS: Open Source
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update Melbourne software company Miro will assign the intellectual property inherent in its open source Mambo content management system to the non-profit organisation it created to administer the application, despite earlier avowals not to do so.

The move is the latest in an ongoing controversy which has seen the 19-member strong volunteer team developing the CMS withdraw their support from the project. The developers objected to some of the terms under which the non-profit Mambo Foundation was created, among them the fact that intellectual property rights would not be transferred.

Despite having gone on record as saying it would only "issue an irrevocable, perpetual and royalty-free licence to the Foundation," Miro chief executive Peter Lamont today issued a statement saying his company had given in to the wishes of the community and would transfer the copyright.

"Over the past few days, a few people took the time to come to me directly to help me understand why it was so important that the Foundation should own Mambo's copyright and trademark outright, and not just a licence," he said.

Despite Lamont's contention that there was now a "responsible structure" to manage the intellectual property, the make-up only consists of three people.

Miro general manager Justina Phoon told ZDNet Australia the Foundation calls Lamont, another community member and herself as directors, although the intention is to eventually have other members of the community involved.

"We are recruiting another two members to the board," Phoon said, "hopefully from within the [Mambo] community or at least within the open-source community at large."

"The idea is that eventually we will hand over the reins to the community," she said, noting that the Foundation was still in the process of being established as a legal entity, and will have its own bank account.

Phoon said Miro had investigated the structure of similar non-profit foundations created by the Ubuntu, Eclipse and GNOME open-source projects in an effort to find a suitable structure for the Mambo Foundation.

"It's sort of a work in progress at the moment," she said, pointing out that the community could always change the structure of the Foundation if it so desired. "This is really a starting point."

Despite Miro's efforts, it appears to have alienated its core development team who plan to start producing their own version of the CMS in a technique known as 'forking'. In addition, they have retained legal representation in the form of the Software Freedom Law Center.

However, Phoon was philosophical about the split. "I guess in most open-source projects there will come a time when people will consider forks and things like that," she said. "I guess it stuns the community when it happens, but it does happen for a lot of open-source communities."

The Mambo CMS has been downloaded approximately five million times, Phoon claimed, and the community has around 40,000 users registered on its forums.

Topic: Open Source

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  • Has Miro really backflipped or is this just PR?

    Visit the website setup by the Mambo development team on this matter
    http://www.opensourcematters.com
    Copyright of the Mambo name is only one of many issues concerning the Mambo community.

    Many on the new sites ever growing forums raise issues such as censorship of the existing Mambo forums and plans to charge open source developers to participate in the Mambo project!

    The release from Miro doesn't address any of the other serious concerns. I think many ex Mambo users are now resigned to a new name to break the unhelpful Miro influence. Even many developers of 3rd party components seem almost positive about the change despite the awkwardness that rebranding will entail.
    anonymous
  • Bad moves, Miro. This is embarrasing.

    Wolf in sheep's clothing.

    This story should check to see who is on the board of the Mambo Foundation....might rather call it the Miro Foundation. Three members currently: 2 Miro employees and one hand-picked Miro figurehead. Yay for open source!

    With the entire development team gone, who will the officiate? The mass exodus to www.opensourcematters.org includes all core developers, translation and documentation teams, and most of the community. You make the call.
    anonymous
  • www.opensourcematters.org

    People needs to get the really story from here. Learn about who is on the board and learn how much it will cost for the entry to the "foundation".
    anonymous
  • Miro releases beta with copyrights intact

    Miro has released a bug-filled beta of 4.5.3. In it you will find all copyright notices still point to the ownership of Miro, not their fabled Foundation.
    anonymous
  • 38,000 left the building

    Miro just lost it all, the didn't build Mambo, the core devs and the real community who all left the building.

    Miro lost in every way!!
    anonymous
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