[Board] Asking permission for re-licensing from LGPL to Apache

Martin Desruisseaux martin.desruisseaux at geomatys.fr
Fri Jul 20 01:42:21 PDT 2012

Hello all

This is my first post on this mailing list. I'm Martin Desruisseaux, a 
former GeoTools 2 contributor and now a developer of the Geotoolkit.org 

In our search for a community, we had a recent discussion with members 
of the Apache Spatial Information System project 
(http://incubator.apache.org/sis/), which is in incubation. A small 
email exchange gave me the feeling that our design goals could be in phase.

(see the "Exploring possible contribution" thread)

We would like to offer them the Geotoolkit.org code. In order to make 
that possible, we need OSGeo permission to re-license Geotoolkit.org 
from its current LGPL 2.1 license to the more permissive Apache license. 
The proposal is not to transfer the totality of Geotoolkit.org to Apache 
SIS, but to allow them to review the code and pick-up whatever they wish 
on a case-by-case basis. The transition to Apache SIS would probably be 
slow and very progressive.

Geotoolkit.org is a fork of GeoTools 2.6 followed by 4 years of 
developments. The project contains two parts: "core" and "pending". Our 
proposal is to begin with the "core" part, which was written (according 
SVN history) at 95% by myself, Geomatys or IRD institute. The remaining 
5% were written by other GeoTools contributors. To my knowledge, 
everyone signed the copyright assignment on 
http://download.osgeo.org/osgeo/legal/, which gives copyright to OSGeo.

We would like OSGeo permission to re-license that code. I would like to 
emphases that this is not a demand for relicensing current GeoTools, but 
only relicensing of the GeoTools 2.6 code from which Geotoolkit.org is 
derived, which is 4 years old. If OSGeo accepts to grant us permission 
to relicense 100% of Geotoolkit.org "core", that would be truly 
appreciated. But in case of objection, we are willing to rewrite the 5% 
of "core" code which was not written by myself, Geomatys or IRD.

If OSGeo accepts re-licensing, it would allows Apache SIS to gain 
services they are currently missing, allows Geotoolkit.org code base to 
gain a community, and possibly allows the GeoTools project to gain a 
trusted and maintained metadata and referencing libraries which could 
replace their current modules, if they wish.

Would it be possible to take this action?


         Martin Desruisseaux

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