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From PieTrust: the Seven Pillars Of Open Companies
"Different people have different ideas about what the term "Open Company" should mean, so here's what it means to us. This page is a work in progress.
- almost anyone can contribute, without getting prior permission ("almost" leaves room for disallowing illegal situations, disallowing people you really don't want for whatever reason, and expulsion for bad behavior)
- contributors can work on what they choose, for as much or as little time as they choose
- contributors, as a whole, get a significant cut of the profits
- contributors, as a whole, get a significant proportion of the votes in project governance
- corporate transparency: information about financial matters and other material issues is shared with contributors
- intellectual property, including "source code", is visible to contributors and customers, and is made freely available for use, modification, and redistribution for non-profit uses, at the initial full-scale "launch" of any product in which it is incorporated
- intellectual property is open sourced, according to the Open Source Institute's definition of the term, within 3 years of its creation"
See also: Open Company Legal Research Group