Project mirroring policies will be revisited with our Community Panel, existing mirrors removed

By rgaloppini

Recent community concerns have triggered an extensive internal review of our mirroring program and how mirrored content is used on SourceForge. In light of this review, third-party bundling of mirrored content was discontinued May 27th.  As of June 18th, we have taken a further step in removing SourceForge-maintained mirrored projects, and are engaging a newly-formed Community Panel to discuss site features and program policies including a redesigned mirror program.

SourceForge was established in 1999 as a site for Open Source software development and now hosts more than 400,000 Open Source projects. Part of our long-standing mission has been the preservation of access to Open Source software source code. Since at least 2010, SourceForge has operated initiatives that mirror important externally-hosted software to our site. As of June 17th, our mirrored project catalog contained 295 projects (<0.07% of our total catalog).

Recently, community concerns were sparked by a short-run test of third-party offers on five of the mirrored projects. This test was promptly discontinued on May 27th based on community feedback, which we appreciate and take very seriously. With that in mind, SourceForge pledges to present third-party offers only with the projects that explicitly opted-in to that program.

We are taking further steps to amend our practices:

Mirrors which are not co-maintained with the one or more of the original developers, except where the upstream site has been discontinued, have been removed effective immediately. An extensive review has been conducted of the 295 mirrored projects and removals were completed on June 18th. Where a SourceForge-maintained mirror has been removed, we have redirected this traffic back to the canonical home for the software (whence it was mirrored to begin with).

We are forming a Community Panel to review our mirroring practices and guide the way mirrors are established and the presentation of mirrored content on the site. We will examine the best ways to respect an author’s Trademarks and Copyrights while distributing the software they have released under Open Source license, and making clear when pages relate to mirrored content.  We continue to believe that mirroring is an important component of the Open Source ecosystem – both in ensuring that software is preserved for developers and in combating malicious patent claims – and we want to make sure our mirroring is performed in a sustainable and beneficial way.

We welcome your feedback and can be reached via the SourceForge Community Voice forum.

Roberto Galoppini, Head of SourceForge Community team

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