[Board] The geotools license agenda item

Seven (aka Arnulf) seven at arnulf.us
Thu Aug 9 09:43:50 PDT 2012

On 08/09/2012 05:32 PM, Tim Schaub wrote:
> 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.
> http://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/www-legal-discuss/201207.mbox/%3C9E3968A8-C23C-4E99-B3EF-9F1979D1BDF9%40jpl.nasa.gov%3E
> 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.
> Tim

I disagree. From my experience a lawyer can hammer both interpretations
from the text, it just depends on which direction you send him. And I
certainly have more legal expertise than most lawyers I had to do with
in the past five years. Especially when it comes to legal issues around
Open Source licenses and copyright in differen legislations. In short:
it would be a waste of money. But then, I am off the hook in a few days
and the board can then go where ever it deems right. :-)

To the situation at hand. Come on kids, what's going on? Can you not let
go? Not a little bit? None of you? We are doing Open Source here. We are
explicitly not propietary nitpickers. At least that was what I thought
we were when we started off. Maybe it is time to change?

I have so far still not seen any real-world argument proving that the
relicensing of code that has been produced be particular individuals
before the split of the projects will do any harm to anyone. It feels a
bit like Kindergarten (I admit that I dropped out of Kindergarte before
really getting anything done, I was probably socially incompatible).

Sorry to step on toes here, I know that some nerves are still blank
after this ling time - but seriously - is this what we care about?

Have fun,

>> --
>> Daniel Morissette
>> http://www.mapgears.com/
>> Provider of Professional MapServer Support since 2000
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Seven of Nine
Exploring Body, Space and Mind

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