[Board] [Incubator] The geotools license agenda item

Jody Garnett jody.garnett at gmail.com
Fri Aug 10 02:43:01 PDT 2012

Thanks for wrapping things up Arnulf.

I will collect anything you think interesting on that dual license
proposal. We tend to keep even failed or withdrawn proposals around in
order to learn for next time.

Jody Garnett

On 10/08/2012, at 6:51 PM, "Seven (aka Arnulf)" <seven at arnulf.us> wrote:

> On 08/10/2012 04:29 AM, Martin Desruisseaux wrote:
>> Le 10/08/12 08:27, Jody Garnett a écrit :
>>> 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.
> Good point, this should not happen and the current license agreement
> does not allow it (in my understanding). We can go on and on becoming
> more intricate but probably we have reached a deppth that we should be
> comfortable with now. But anyway, let me add another layer of
> reassurance that everything is going to be good:
> The code header reading the OSGeo copyright cannot stay in place
> whenever any portion of the code is (rightfully) relicensed by the
> corresponding contributor under a closde license because of this section
> of the GeoTools CLA [1]:
> In the event the Foundation makes the Submission available to third
> parties, it shall do so only in accordance with the requirements of the
> by­laws of the Foundation, currently hosted at
> http://www.osgeo.org/content/foundation/incorporation/bylaws.html. In
> particular, the portions of the Submission integrated to the core
> library will be licensed to the third party under a license approved as
> an open
> source license by the Open Source Initiative, or any substantially
> similar license that meets the Open Source Definition or Free Software
> Definition. The specific license used will be chosen in suitable
> consultation with the group governing the Project.
> Comment:
> The OSGeo foundation has bound itself legally to Open Source Licenses
> maintained by the OSI. Thus without changing out very bylaws the code
> under copyright of OSGeo is also bound to the OSI definition.
> In case someone wants to relicense their own code under a non-OSI licene
> they will have to remove the OSGeo copyright section. This does not
> prevent someone from changing from a copyleft effect license like the
> GPL to a permissive BSD/MIT style version under OSGeo copyright header
> but that is within the remit of the foundation. If the foundation would
> want to be more specific we would have to adopt one specific license
> which is to be used by all projects but this is something we we
> collectively decided is not what we want. Others like Apache or Eclipse
> went down this road but they also have another focus and another set of
> issues.
>> Just for the record, my understanding is that what a contributor do with
>> its own contribution has no impact on the project. I mean, a contributor
>> can re-license a separated copy of his contribution, but no re-licensing
>> done on contributor's side can have any impact on the project license,
>> especially not on derivative work done by other peoples. The "derivative
>> work" that a contributor can distribute according the Copyright
>> Assignment is only the contributor's own derivative work.
>>    Martin
> I concur with Martin here, thanks for the clarification.
> Now: All of what was discussed in this and related threads is pretty
> good stuff. But we will forget. And I can see us dig through amil
> archives in a few years to avoid having to go through the pain of
> learning again. Anbody have a suggestion where we can add paragraphs
> like Martin's above so that we find and understand them in a few years?
> My unimaginative self would probably post them in the Wiki but maybe
> there is better ways to do this now?
> Cheers,
> Arnulf
> [1]
> http://docs.geotools.org/latest/developer/_downloads/GeotoolsAssignmentToOSGeo.pdf
> --
> Seven of Nine
> http://arnulf.us/Seven
> Exploring Body, Space and Mind
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