[Board] The geotools license agenda item

Tim Schaub tschaub at opengeo.org
Thu Aug 9 10:16:04 PDT 2012

You misunderstood.  I'm willing to do two things:

1) say I understand the spirit of the agreement based on reading Adrian's email
2) have the foundation cough up money for legal expertise if requested


On Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 10:43 AM, Seven (aka Arnulf) <seven at arnulf.us> wrote:
> 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,
> Arnulf
>>> --
>>> Daniel Morissette
>>> http://www.mapgears.com/
>>> Provider of Professional MapServer Support since 2000
>>> _______________________________________________
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> --
> Seven of Nine
> http://arnulf.us/Seven
> Exploring Body, Space and Mind
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Tim Schaub
OpenGeo http://opengeo.org/
Expert service straight from the developers.

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