[Board] The geotools license agenda item

Daniel Morissette dmorissette at mapgears.com
Thu Aug 9 09:11:57 PDT 2012

On 12-08-09 8:41 AM, Seven (aka Arnulf) wrote:
> The current situation is stable and we do not need to do much except to
> confirm what Frank put together nicely as his point 6:
> 6) GeoTools - I strongly support the board recognising that the GeoTools
> contributor agreement grants contributors very broad permission to do
> what they want with their code contribution including relicensing it. I
> do not believe any other relicensing of the GeoTools code base should
> take place at this time without a firm recommendation from the GeoTools
> PSC.
> I hope this is enough information so that we can make this an official
> confirmation. This should not be necessary becasue the legal text is
> clear but we have been requested to confirm this so here goes:
> Motion:
> The board confirms that (verbatim copy from the CLA): "The Foundation
> grants the Contributor the non­exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable,
> worldwide, royalty­free, license to use, copy, prepare derivative works
> of, publicly display or perform, and distribute the Submission (1)."
> This includes relicensing their own contributions under another license.
> (1) A "Submission" means any work of authorship that is sent by the
> Contributor (whether via the electronic exchange of such work of
> authorship or otherwise) to any Geotools Server, including without
> limitation code, scripts, documentation such as text and image
> instructions, descriptions, explanations, or comments, data such as
> tabular data, raster imagery or vector geometry files, and any other
> material that can be incorporated into the Geotools Project.

Very good summary Arnulf. Thank you.

For the record, I will +1 this motion as this corresponds to my 
interpretation of what I have read so far on the question, and also 
corresponds to the spirit of the way that I believe that OSGeo should 
deal with its contributors and their contributions. (i.e. In my view of 
a truly open world, contributors such as Martin should keep the rights 
to relicense their own code as they see fit, independently of the 
project to which they contributed, and I believe this is what the clause 
above is trying to ensure.)

> Having said that I do think that we do a pretty good job at being
> impartial, I just want to make sure that we don't forget that as we
> grow. We currently have 24 projects listed on osgeo.org, each with their
> own way of doing things and we do not enforce any kind of feedback on
> which we could establish some kind of control. I believe that we must
> implement something here.

That has come up a few times in the past. Someone even at some point 
suggested turning the Incubation Committee into the Projects Committee 
and extend its mandate to followup wiht the projects every year or so. 
Unfortunately the committee is already having a hard time staying on top 
of incubator stuff, so it would not get any better of its mandate was 

Daniel Morissette
Provider of Professional MapServer Support since 2000

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