You can by asking the university or making sure you have the right to contribute to open source as part of your employment agreement. Even at Columbia, rights vary by position (research scientists and regular (research) faculty have different obligations than students or teaching faculty).
This has always been a problem for us and other projects. I’m not sure a lot of academics understand that their university usually owns their code. Most universites are OK with open sourcing things and many have moved to making that an explicit right of faculty.
Don’t we still need to know who owns the copyright? It might not be the contributor, like for those of us in research positions at Columbia.
You mean the article inbound = outbound from opensource.com? They don’t say why asking for copyright holder and OS license is intimidating and don’t say anything else about it I can see. Is there some other hostility you’re talking about?
I’m not sure if what we’re doing now in other modules would be considered minimalist or maximalist or somewhere in between by that article. A lot of it’s about GPL and doesn’t seem relevant.
Can we just go and collect a list of who owns copyright from our contributors and also let them know they’re already BSD/CC BY licensing in case they didn’t realize? I hadn’t realized GitHub had such a clause in their terms of service.