[Board] The geotools license agenda item

Michael P. Gerlek mpg at flaxen.com
Thu Aug 9 09:54:11 PDT 2012

It is indeed the case that lawyers can be either strictly literal or broadly interpretive -- it all depends on their philosophical position and/or who's paying them. And it is indeed also the case that some lawyers are better than others :-)

I'm generally in favor of giving as much leeway to authors as possible. As a Foundation, our job is to simply make sure that the code stays out in the open commons: we are the guardians against bad actors. As long as an author isn't trying to retroactively restrict the code's openness, s/he should be able to act as s/he sees fit. But I'll admit I don't know how to say that in a nice, legal way.

[There is a deep argument lurking off to the side of the screen, just waiting to jump to center stage: does switching from GPL to BSD, or vice versa, affect the Freedom and Openness of the bytes? It is my sincere hope that we can keep that fun topic for some other day...]


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