[Board] The geotools license agenda item

Tim Schaub tschaub at opengeo.org
Thu Aug 9 09:32:02 PDT 2012

On Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 10:17 AM, Daniel Morissette
<dmorissette at mapgears.com> wrote:
> On 12-08-09 10:21 AM, Frank Warmerdam wrote:
>> On 12-08-09 07:15 AM, Martin Desruisseaux wrote:
>>> Le 09/08/12 22:58, Jody Garnett a écrit :
>>>> I am afraid the very next line in section "V. Obligations of the
>>>> Foundation"
>>>> specially covers changing license as a board responsibility, made in
>>>> conjunction with the group governing the project. There are a couple of
>>>> restrictions, open source license, in accordance with the bylaws of the
>>>> Foundation etc…
>>> That paragraph specifies the conditions under which the Foundation can
>>> re-license; I don't read it as the contributor's conditions. Indeed, the
>>> section title is "Obligations of the Foundation".
>> Folks,
>> For reference, I also read it that way.  I don't see any effort in the
>> agreement to restrict the contributors rights in this way.  This is
>> basically a promise from the foundation to the contributor.
> I also read it the same way.

Interesting.  I read it more literally the first time.

The Foundation hereby 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.

Sounds like broad permission to me.  But I thought the missing
"relicensing" right (or other terms) was intentional.

Adrian's note to the Apache Foundation does clearly state that he
intended the contributor to retain (or be granted) the right to
relicense.  I would have expected to see the word relicense or maybe
distribute under any terms or something.


I'm happy to say that the Board agrees that the Contributor agreement
offers broad rights to contributors.  But I'll admit that I didn't
think it meant the right to relicense until reading Adrian's email.

Bottom line, none of us has the legal expertise.  I'd be in favor of
using Foundation money to provide real expertise.


> --
> Daniel Morissette
> http://www.mapgears.com/
> Provider of Professional MapServer Support since 2000
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Tim Schaub
OpenGeo http://opengeo.org/
Expert service straight from the developers.

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