User:CHGiffen/CPDL organization

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This is a draft document: Official version to be maintained at ChoralWiki:CPDL organization

CPDL organization


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Main article: CPDL history

CPDL before ChoralWiki (December 1998 – July 2005)

The online Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL) was founded by Rafael (Raf) Ornes with an initial posting of 6 scores in December 1998 (in all, 24 new scores were posted that month). Scores were posted entirely by hand by Raf during these early years. With the amount of interest in CPDL growing and, unfortunately, with problems from hackers on the old site, Raf abandoned the old site structure in favor of ChoralWiki, a wiki site, after a major hacking of the old site in the summer of 2005. By this time there were over 320 contributors and 8,700 scores in the CPDL database.

CPDL as ChoralWiki (August 2005 – July 2008)

On 16 August 2005, the MediaWiki software was successfully installed at CPDL and the work begun on transferring information from the old database (and Google cache), as well as customizing the new ChoralWiki. Composer pages were up by 22 August, and by 28 August score pages had been created for nearly all scores in the database (it would take another couple of months with the help of volunteers to clean up various loose ends, such as scores that did not get properly transferred). The phpBB discussion forum was added by 9 September 2005. And by mid-October 2005, the ChoralWiki Main Page assumed more-or-less its present form. Almost daily updates of most recent scores listed on the Main Page were carried out by hand by a handful of volunteers.

In late July of 2008, Raf Ornes felt that the task of managing CPDL by himself had become too great, and asked a small group of Administrators to form a new structure and assume operation of CPDL.

CPDL in transition (August 2008 – December 2008)

A Transition Committee was formed, which began the multifaceted tasks of trying to decide how best to carry CPDL forward with goals and an operational structure that would be ongoing and self-sustaining, as well as managing several aspects of CPDL that needed immediate attention. These included upgrading both the CPDL Forums and the MediaWiki software for ChoralWiki, adding other enhancements to increase the functionality of ChoralWiki, migrating to new host servers, establishing cloned copies and back-up procedures, and implementing several improvements to the appearance and ease of operation of ChoralWiki.

The Transition Committee also established and worked within an organizational structure that, in most details, is reflected by and carried forward in the structure described below. By the end of 2008, the work of the Transition Committee was considered finished, with nearly all the pieces in place for CPDL to operate henceforth under this new structure.

CPDL renewed

With the work of the Transition Committee done, CPDL has moved forward with the goals and organizational structure set forth in this document. Transition Committee work group leaders, deputies, and members have retained their roles in the renewed CPDL.

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Goals of CPDL

Main article: CPDL goals

Since its inception, the primary purpose of CPDL has been to create a large repository of editions of public domain choral music. Over time, this purpose has expanded to include other aspects of choral vocal music. The following reflects the present and ongoing goals of CPDL:

  • The primary purpose of CPDL is to collect and make available, without download cost or fees, sheet music for choral and solo vocal music, which is in the public domain or otherwise distributed under a free license. This will be achieved and furthered by the following subsidiary goals:
    • Maintain and develop CPDL's website, providing a platform for free downloads of public domain or freely licensed sheet music.
    • Support development of a viable collaborative model for sheet music compilation and distribution, allowing anyone to contribute editions that are consistent with the primary purpose.
    • Encourage and assist modern composers who wish to distribute their works under a free license through CPDL.
    • Publish public domain or freely licensed choral and solo vocal scores that are not commercially available.
    • Catalog other websites offering free choral and solo vocal sheet music.
    • Foster discussion, community, scholarship and collaboration among those interested in all aspects of music for voices and singing.

Organizational structure

CPDL has no members but is simply an organization made up of volunteers who contribute their efforts to the betterment of CPDL's goals. Overseen by a governing Board of Directors, the organizational structure reflects this volunteer nature of CPDL, giving purpose and continuity to its operation. Thus CPDL is organized into several work groups, whose Leaders and Deputies form an Executive Committee, all appointed by the Board of Directors.

Board of Directors

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The Board of Directors of CPDL is the formal, legal ownership body of CPDL and represents CPDL in all official capacities, including financial and legal matters. Its major responsibilities are:

  1. Determine CPDL's mission and purpose. This is articulated in the CPDL goals statement and is to be periodically reviewed for accuracy and validity.
  2. Determine the responsibilities of and select CPDL's Chief Executive, determining Work Groups and selecting their Leaders and Deputies.
  3. Support the Chief Executive and periodically review performance.
  4. Ensure effective organizational planning by participating with Work Groups in the overall planning process.
  5. Ensure adequate resources for CPDL to fulfil its mission, developing means where necessary to raise funds for its operation.
  6. Manage resources effectively to remain accountable to donors, CPDL users and the public, and safeguard any tax-exempt status by assisting in developing the annual budget and ensuring proper financial controls are in place.
  7. Determine and monitor CPDL's programs and services, maintaining consistency with CPDL goals.
  8. Enhance the public image of CPDL as the primary link to the community (constituent users, the public, and the media), clearly articulating the organization's mission, accomplishments, and goals to the public.
  9. Serve as a court of appeal on matters involving the chief executive or work group leadership.
  10. Assess its own performance, recognizing its achievements and reaching consensus on areas needing improvement.


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Work groups

CPDL is currently organized into five work groups (teams), carried over from the Transition Committee:

  1. Management and Administration
  2. IT Operations
  3. User Interaction
  4. Maintenance and Improvement
  5. Copyright Issues
  • Membership in work groups

Because each team at CPDL is staffed by volunteers, it is understood that each volunteer may have varying amounts of time to devote to working with a group and might leave a group at any time. To ensure continuity, each team is headed by a Leader and a Deputy.

The Leader (Head or Manager) of a team oversees the functioning of that group, sharing certain responsibilities with the Deputy and allocating specific duties with other active members associated with that group as necessary. The Deputy assists the Leader, often with an agreed upon division of responsibilities, and steps to assume leadership role if the Leader is unavailable for an extended period of time. Other members of a team may assume specific roles or responsibilities with the approval of the team Leader.

The Founder of CPDL, Rafael Ornes, shall have special status for as long as he chooses, as an ex officio member of the Management and Administration group and of the Executive Committee.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is the formal, legal ownership body of CPDL and represents CPDL in all official capacities, including financial and legal matters. The Executive Committee of CPDL consists of the Leaders and Deputies of the working groups, as well as any other members that the Executive Committee agrees to include. Presently, the Leader and Deputy of the Management and Administration group serve respectively as Chair and Vice Chair of the Executive Committee.

Management and Administration

The Management and Administration (M&A) group is charged with the overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations CPDL. The Leader is designated as the Manager of CPDL. Specific responsibilities include:

  • assign resources (funds, responsible persons).
  • coordinate operations of the other working groups, delegating responsibilities as appropriate.
  • maintain and update as needed portions of this CPDL Organization document not requiring formal ratification.
  • periodically review the status and performance of CPDL.
  • oversee the implementation of any decisions made by the Executive Committee.
  • make decisions necessary for the smooth operation and improvement of CPDL.

By virtue of their roles on the Executive Committee, the Leader and Deputy for M&A must be United States citizens.

IT Operations

The main role of the IT Operations group is to provide all necessary IT resources for CPDL, including:

  • the ChoralWiki website.
  • the CPDL Forums (a.k.a. the phpBB).
  • the CPDL servers.
  • other IT tools necessary for upgrades, backups, etc.
  • periodically submit performance summary to the Management and Administration group.

User Interaction

The User Interaction group handles aspects of CPDL directly relating to how users interact with CPDL or the Forums, such as:

  • new user registrations
  • the process by which new scores, texts-translations, music publications, etc. are added to ChoralWiki
  • requests for scores and other information
  • the help system
  • downloading of scores and associated sound or source files
  • periodically submit performance summary to the Management and Administration group.

Maintenance and Improvement

The Maintenance and Improvement group treats aspects of CPDL that maintain and enhance the usefulness of ChoralWiki and the Forums, including:

  • manage efforts at improving the quality of CPDL as a score library.
  • improve searchability of ChoralWiki through various methods and criteria.
  • repair or remove broken links and superfluous redirects.
  • clean up pages, especially those marked with the CleanUp tag.
  • where possible and permitted, move scores from external servers to ChoralWiki.
  • identify errors in scores.
  • develop and maintain structures which organize scores, text-translations, score requests, music publications, etc. that make ChoralWiki a useful resource to users.
  • periodically submit performance summary to the Management and Administration group.

Copyright Issues

The Copyright Issues group manages issues pertaining to copyright status and public domain issues for CPDL scores.

  • establish and moderate CPDL Copyright and CPDL License policy for scores hosted at ChoralWiki.
  • establish and moderate suitable copyright policies for scores listed and linked externally from but not hosted at ChoralWiki.
  • take remedial action for instances at variance with CPDL copyright policy.
  • seek or retain legal consultation on copyright policy and questions.
  • periodically submit performance summary to the Management and Administration group.

It is recommended that the Leader be a United States citizen and the Deputy be from Europe.

Additional topics

Ratification of this document

This document shall become the official CPDL Organization document upon ratification by a majority of those votes cast by members of the Transition Committee: Arie Fokkens, Bobnotts, Carlos, CHGiffen, Choralia, Johnhenryfowler, Vaarky. Deadline for voting is 15 February 2009. Abstentions or votes not cast by the deadline shall be deemed to be in support of the majority of votes actually cast.

Changes to this document

The official version of this document is to be maintained at ChoralWiki:CPDL Organization. However, from time to time, it may be necessary to refine or change portions of this document. Changes to the Organizational structure section of this document must be ratified by a majority of those votes cast by members of the Executive Committee. Deadline for voting on any such change will be two weeks after the close of discussion for such change. Abstentions or votes not cast by the deadline shall be deemed to be in support of the majority of votes actually cast.

Current staffing of work groups and the Executive Committee

Management and Administration

IT Operations

User Interaction

Maintenance and Improvement

Copyright Issues

Executive Committee