[Board] The geotools license agenda item

Jody Garnett jody.garnett at gmail.com
Thu Aug 9 16:27:19 PDT 2012


If asked I can go back and read Adrian's email, I am deeply thankful for the hard work he put into both this agreement, and into the incubation process in general.  

My understanding was placing the license as a board obligation was to allow the foundation to meet its goal of supporting open source licenses.

The foundation would justly be annoyed if a PSC relicensed an existing project under a closed source license. The same setup can occur if a contributor is free to set the license of a derived work. Indeed we would be placed in a very strange spot where the header would need to show OSGeo copyright, but the rest of the header could outline a license not in keeping with our goals.

In any case this is largely academic, the request was for an Apache License 2.0.

What remains is to carefully dot our i's and crossing our t's to prevent any further trouble. I will have to see how the board meeting turned out.  
--  
Jody Garnett


On Friday, 10 August 2012 at 3:16 AM, Tim Schaub wrote:

> 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
>  
> Tim
>  
> On Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 10:43 AM, Seven (aka Arnulf) <seven at arnulf.us (mailto: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 (mailto: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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>  
>  


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