ICA-AtoM Project Mission Statement and Governance Model
During the first week of May, the ICA-AtoM project held its first Steering Committee meeting at the Dutch Archiefschool in Amsterdam. In attendance were:
• David Leitch, (incoming) ICA Secretary-General
• Perrine Cannavagio, ICA Deputy Secretary-General
• George MacKenzie, Keeper of the Records of Scotland
• Abdullah El Reyes, Director, United Arab Emirates Center for Documentation & Research
• Fareed Hassan Al Marzouqi, Director of Support Services, United Arab Emirates Center for Documentation & Research
• David McGlennon, Director of Strategic Planning, United Arab Emirates Center for Documentation & Research
• Peter Bruce, Chief Technology Officer, Library and Archives of Canada
• Peter Horsman, Director of Research, Dutch Institute of Archival Education & Research (Archiefschool)
• Peter Van Garderen, Software Release Manager, ICA-AtoM Project (Artefactual Sytems)
We reviewed the ICA-AtoM feature roadmap for the 1.0 beta release due in July 2008 and the stable 1.2 release due in June 2009. We discussed the preparations for the ICA-AtoM sessions at the upcoming ICA Congress in Kuala Lumpur, including the preparation of a demo CD to be made available to all attendees. The Steering Committee also discussed copyright, license, trademarks and the project's governance structure. We prepared a draft organizational chart (see attached). This chart, along with the membership of the ICA-AtoM Steering Committee, will be finalized at the Steering Committee's next meeting in Kuala Lumpur.
We also discussed the project funding. The development of the ICA-AtoM beta 1.0 release was funded by the United Arab Emirates Center for Documentation and Research, the Dutch Archiefschool, the French Archives Directorate, UNESCO and the World Bank. It is hoped that one or more of these initial key sponsors will be able to provide funding for the release 1.1 - 1.2 work to be carried out from August 2008 to May 2009. However, after that date there needs to be more distributed, community-based options for funding the ongoing project activities. Therefore, the Steering Committee had an in-depth discussion about the possible business models that could help to fund project activities while still maintaining the principles and values of open-source software development.
To conclude the meeting we prepared a first draft of the ICA-AtoM project's mission statement which summarizes these discussions and clarifies the project's objectives, values, business model and licensing. This statement is addressed to all current and future end-users, developers, partners, sponsors and institutions interested in using the software and contributing to the project.
The mission statement has now been finalized and appears below in this message as well as on the project website (http://ica-atom.org/about.html).
We encourage any interested parties that are attending the ICA Congress in Kuala Lumpur to attend the ICA-AtoM presentation for a demonstration of the software and further discussion on the project. You can also register for ICA-AtoM workshops at the ICA Congress to get some guided hands-on experience with the beta 1.0 release of the software.
Lastly, there is an open invitation for anyone interested in the topics addressed by this post and the mission statement below to attend the roundtable meeting of the ICA-AtoM Steering Committee in Kuala Lumpur.
Peter Van Garderen
ICA-AtoM Software Release Manager
The purpose of the ICA-AtoM Project is to provide free and open-source software:
1. that enables institutions to make their archival holdings available online, especially those who could not otherwise afford to do so
2. that manages archival descriptions in accord with ICA standards
3. that provides multi-lingual interfaces and content translation features
4. that supports multiple collection types
5. that is fully web-based, user-friendly and follows accessibility best practices
6. that is flexible and customizable
7. that is useful to both small and large institutions alike
8. that supports single or multi-repository implementations
The values of the ICA-AtoM Project are to conduct its affairs in the spirit of open-source collaboration, including:
1. openly sharing technical expertise
2. promoting professional best practices
3. nurturing an active community of users and developers
4. leveraging existing open web technology to deliver best-of-breed archives software
5. providing solutions to organizations with limited financial and technical resources
6. enganging active participation from organizations that have the necessary financial and technical resources
7. providing a common ground for cross-discipline collaboration with related communities
8. generating revenue to support ICA-AtoM and other ICA activities through a business model that benefits from widespread ICA-AtoM adoption
The ICA-AtoM software will always be publicly available as free and open source software. In order to raise funds to achieve the project's objectives and values the ICA-AtoM Project will establish a business model that includes the following components:
1. applying for grants and subsidies
2. charging fees for delivering ICA-AtoM related training workshops
3. creating a purely voluntary institutional membership model, based on fees or contributions in kind, to pool the resources of those institutions that are using ICA-AtoM
4. charging a commission for brokering ICA-AtoM technical services between recommended third-party contractors and institutions seeking assistance with ICA-AtoM installation, hosting, customization, new feature development, etc.
Users and developers of ICA-AtoM sofware are free to use it as they see fit under the open terms of the GPL v.2 license. However, the formal objectives and activities of the ICA-AtoM Project will be established by the ICA-AtoM Steering Committee within a governance model that is currently in draft form and under discussion (see attached diagram). It is expected that the Steering Committee leadership, membership and project governance structure will be finalized at the ICA Congress in July 2008.
The ICA-AtoM software is released under the GPL v.2 license (http://www.opensource.org/licenses/gpl-2.0.php). ICA-AtoM consists of a number of GPL v.2 compatible libraries, predominately the Qubit Toolkit and the Symfony web application framework. Due to the large number of contributors from these and other software libraries, it is not possible to assign copyright to a single person or organization. Therefore, copyright of all the software code used within ICA-AtoM remains with the original authors.
However, all the code used in the ICA-AtoM software is strictly verified for compliance with the GPL v.2 license, thereby making the entire distribution freely useable to any and all parties under the terms of the GPL v.2 license. This includes the ability to make changes to the source code and to redistribute free versions of the software. One can also charge a fee for copying, modifying and redistributing the software and any other related services as long as the software code itself and any modifications or derivative works created from it remain free and publicly accessible under the same GPL v.2 license.
The ICA-AtoM Project will trademark the ICA-AtoM name, logo and related identity assets so that it can protect the integrity of the project as well as to promote and brand the ICA-AtoM software application and related services.