Got an idea for an OpenMaine project? Awesome! Before you go and add it to the projects list, there are some things you should consider. An OpenMaine project:
…is for the public good
- Some OpenMaine projects work with public data; some are done in partnership with nonprofits or city government; some just help Mainers out in ways big and small. All of them, however, are oriented toward helping members of the public rather than generating a profit.
- There are great ways that for-profit companies can be involved with OpenMaine activities. Pro-bono work by for-profit companies on civic technology is welcome. Companies offering tools that can be used by our community to build apps for social good – if you’re a company interested in sponsoring a hack night or other event and presenting to our members, please contact us.
- However, asking volunteers to work for free on for-profit projects is never okay at OpenMaine events.
…is open-source and available to the public
- The source code and output of your project must be available to the public at no cost. Source code can be hosted on Github or another hosting site, and your OpenMaine project page should include a link to the source. Apps or websites should provide a link to to the OpenMaine project page or to the source directly.
- The data behind your project should also be open source, of course, and included in your Github repository.
- Github has a great guide to open-source licensing that can help you out, or if you’re not sure, feel free to ask us! Officially open-sourcing a project is really easy and takes just a couple of minutes.
- OpenMaine usually suggests the MIT license for civic tech projects because it’s very simple and places few limits on code re-use. If you prefer another open-source license such as Apache or the GPL, they’re fine too, and of course you can always simply declare your code to be in the public domain.
…does not violate our Code of Conduct
- The Code of Conduct asks everyone at OpenMaine events to be respectful of one another and inclusive.
…is not partisan
- OpenMaine is an affiliate of Code for America, a non-partisan, non-political 501(c)(3) organization. We do not support or endorse specific parties or candidates, and cannot host projects which do.
- Code for America guidance on legal restrictions on non-partisan activities for non-profit groups
My project might fall outside these guidelines. Does that mean I can’t work on it at OpenMaine?
- There’s a reason we call these “guidelines” and not “rules.” For the most part, we’re more concerned with the spirit of these guidelines and not the strict wording. If you think your project might be an exception, please feel free to contact us or speak to a staff member at a hack night to discuss your idea.
Have a question about something on this page? Ideas on how to improve it? Email us!