[Geoprisma-dev] Licensing was: MapFish-trunk in external
yves.moisan at boreal-is.com
Tue Dec 22 11:06:11 EST 2009
> Since you asked for my opinion in a previous email, here it is:
> I am not a specialist of the GPL, but I believe Steve's analysis is
> right: publishing a BSD product which includes some GPL components
> imposes the GPL restrictions on all the BSD code and prevents the
> production of closed-source derivatives. This is not a problem for
> GeoPrisma/MapFish directly, but may be a problem for users of
> GeoPrisma/MapFish who do not want to be required to publish the source
> code of their applications. What is fuzzy to me in the Web world is how
> far the GPL reaches in its propagation.
I agree this is an issue, but probably more for service organizations
than "using" organizations. If an organization gets a web mapping
application done by a consultant like Stephen and they use it for their
purpose, then I do not think they are required to release their code.
It's their mods. That's what I call a "using" organization.
Now if an organization builds a nice routing application on top of
Geoprisma and that they sell or provide to other customers, then the
> In the traditional desktop app
> mode, the rule seems more clear: my understanding is that if you link
> directly with a GPL component then all the code that links with it
> becomes bound to the GPL rules and must be published. In the web world
> it is not clear what linking means and how far GPL reaches in the
> components that it touches.
> It also seems to me that people are bending the rules and tend to ignore
> the GPL nature of ExtJS when they use it with MapFish and GeoExt...
Very good point indeed. Even if MapFish were to move to the modified
BSD to be in line with OpenLayers and GeoExt, there would still be
ExtJS' license. And since they are the licensor, it's important that we
know how far reaching their recourses can be. Could they go and say
"it's not because you guys use modified BSD licenses for the libraries
you use to wrap *our* ExtJS into that the applications derived from your
libraries are exempt from the GPL requirements".
> so I
> am really looking forward to the outcome of this discussion in those
Yes. At one point, I suggested to Éric Lemoine to submit the question
of the MapFish license (or rather how it could harm the rest of the
modified BSD stack it evolves in) to the FSF or the SFLC : Software
Freedom Law Center. I'll make sure the new MapFish PSC goes through all
due checks and balances with organizations like the FSF before switching
their license. We need to clear up the license issues so that all
parties understand what they can and what they can't do with the
software. Thanx for your input.
Heck, I said the last post was to be the last ...
> Yves Moisan wrote:
> > My fingers did a bad key combination and the message got sent before I
> > explained what the * was. It was meant to be a P.S. mentioning that the
> > two largest desktop FOSS4G products, namely GvSIG and QGIS, are both
> > released under the GPL. It's funny how the FOSS4G desktop world is GPL
> > and the FOSS4G web isn't.
> My short answer is that Desktop apps are finished products, so people
> are unlikely to want to embed them in larger closed-source products and
> GPL is less of an issue in this case.
> OTOH, GPL doesn't work for libraries or small Web components since it is
> not possible to build a closed-source product using a GPL component.
> That's why LGPL was created.
> Here is a practical example: If GDAL/OGR was GPL instead of BSD, then it
> would not have the level of adoption that it has today. Very few, if
> any, of the organizations/businesses listed in
> http://gdal.org/credits.html would have used and contributed to it.
> (Note: I am not only referring to the list of sponsors at the top, there
> is a list of 20+ organizations who are credited for contributions at the
> bottom of the page)
> I'll let you draw your own conclusions, but I am of the opinion that
> more often than not, GPL is a blocker to the adoption of Open Source
> software in the industry in general (outside of our open source circle).
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