[OSGeo-Discuss] Board Proposal: Statement of OSGeo Legal Support
cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Tue Oct 30 06:55:38 EDT 2007
OSGeo Board, (CC to OSGeo Discuss),
During the founding of OSGeo, it was often noted that OSGeo projects
would benefit from OSGeo legal protection. Now, as Geotools wrestles
with graduation criteria and how to handle license assignment, the
nature and level of legal protection offered by OSGeo is unclear. Also
unclear is the level of legal review available (as tested by Geotools
crafting of a Copywrite Assignment document).
Consequently, geotools is having difficulty deciding whether it is wise
to assign copywrite to OSGeo.
I suspect a large part of the problem is that board members (like
myself) are not lawyers and don't have a clear understanding of the
options, the value of each of the options to OSGeo and the projects (how
much protection is given), and the cost both in time and financially.
Key questions to answer for each option are:
* What level of support is given to contributors and license reviewers
(individuals and companies)
* What level of support is given to OSGeo users?
* What level of support is given to projects? Will OSGeo fight a license
infringer on behalf of a project?
* What level of support is given to the OSGeo Foundation?
That the board makes a clear statement on their website about nature and
level of support offered by OSGeo to OSGeo projects and Individuals.
This statement needs to be backed up with a budget item addressing
financial implications related to the statement.
I suggest the steps to achieve the above would be:
1. Board approves budget to have a lawyer, or volunteer with legal
review, to draw up a list of options and their financial implications.
Adrian Custer's review provides an excellent basis for a lawyer to start
2. Board votes to select best option.
3. OSGeo financial sponsors are given opportunity to contribute to
4. OSGeo budgets for decision
5. OSGeo records the legal stance publicly (on a webpage).
Geospatial Systems Architect
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254
Think Globally, Fix Locally
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