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We Need Your Voice: Reviewing, Commenting, and Approving Our Proposed Terms of Participation

Since 2008, OpenCUNY has been the student-organized, open-source, participatory digital media platform for The Graduate Center, CUNY community. In its participatory nature, every person who signs up with OpenCUNY is a participant, not a user. Our guiding policy, the Terms of Participation, aims to empower participants and let them retain the rights to the content they post on OpenCUNY. The current Terms of Participation dates to 2011.

In 2013-2014 with the appointment of two new coordinators, OpenCUNY decided that the Terms were in need of revising and begun this process, as detailed in the DSC bylaws.
Our work on the new Terms have progressed over the past months, detailed below.

Fall 2013: OpenCUNY meets with the DSC-funded lawyer for an initial consultation about what revising the Terms would entail, given the fast pace with which the laws involving digital media have evolved in the past few years.
May 2014: With a DSC-funded Knowledge Grant, OpenCUNY meets with lawyers in the DSC-associated law firm to begin to craft a new Terms of Participation through conversation.
Summer 2014: OpenCUNY Coordinators digitally review and revise drafts of the Terms and reach a draft that was ready for review by the OpenCUNY Board.
Fall 2014: Over the course of a few meetings, the OpenCUNY Coordinators and the OpenCUNY Board discuss the Terms and suggest additional revisions.
December 2014: The OpenCUNY Board approves the Terms, pending revisions, which the lawyers make, sending back a fourth draft.

And that brings us up to the present, to January 2015, where we’re posting the proposed Terms of Participation and opening them up for review and voting approval by all OpenCUNY participants. We welcome and will respond to your comments, whether posted publicly or emailed. Here’s our proposed timeline moving forward.

January-March 2015: Proposed Terms of Participation are open for review, comment, and approval by OpenCUNY participants. OpenCUNY Coordinators review and revise, as necessary, in consultation with the law firm.
April 24, 2015: Having been approved by the OpenCUNY participants, the Terms of Participation will be voted on by the DSC plenary at the April meeting and approved by a simple majority.
May 2015: The proposed Terms become the new Terms of Participation, and all participants will be notified of this change.

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