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

Martin Desruisseaux martin.desruisseaux at geomatys.fr
Thu Jul 26 15:10:26 PDT 2012


As suggested, we posted our request on the GeoTools mailing list 
(http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/message.php?msg_id=29572383). The 
GeoTools PMC had a meeting Monday, which resulted in 2 "inclined yes" 
votes, 2 "inclined no" votes and one proposal to re-license GeoTools 
too. We do not know yet the final GeoTools PMC decision, neither we saw 
any reply to our request from the OSGeo board. Consequently I would like 
to recall a few points, and make one proposal (note: my willing is not 
to create contentious, but to insist on open source spirit in a context 
where two projects are facing strategic steps):

 1. We granted copyright to OSGeo, not to GeoTools.
 2. When we granted copyright, we understood that OSGeo would have the
    duty to behave according its charter, which is not to protect the
    economical interests of some members or to favour one particular
    project at the expense of an other project.
 3. We were willing to trim every code not written by ourselves (while
    of course we prefer not having to - see proposal below).
 4. GeoTools contains thousands of lines of code written by ourselves -
    when we left, we were the authors of 40% of GeoTools 2.6 code base.
 5. If OSGeo requires GeoTools permission for re-licensing our code,
    then conversely we assume that GeoTools needs our agreement for
    re-licensing our above-cited work.

Considering that some peoples considered to re-license GeoTools as part 
of their plan to join LocationTech (Eclipse), we would like to reach an 
agreement around the following proposal: OSGeo allows re-licensing of 
the full Geotoolkit.org code base to Apache 2, including the work 
derived from other contributors in GeoTools 2.6 (as of 2008, it was 5% 
of lines of code in the "core" modules and an undetermined percentage in 
the "pending" modules - we can compute this number if it is considered 
necessary for reaching an agreement). In return, we give our agreement 
for re-licensing any work we committed on the GeoTools SVN (both OSGeo 
and SourceForge), at any time in the history under any license that the 
GeoTools PMC wishes. From an "amount of lines of code" point of view, I 
don't think that GeoTools would be deserved by such deal.


Le 20/07/12 23:37, Cameron Shorter a écrit :
> Martin, board,
> (talking as a non-board member)
> I recommend that the course of action should be:
> 1. Note that OSGeo's commitment is to support projects, and support 
> Open Source use for projects.
> 2. Note that there are 2 projects with a vested interest in this 
> decision, GeoTools and Geotoolkit.
> 3. Note that the board would in principle be in a position to support 
> Geotoolkit's request, as it is a request to use an Open Source licence 
> (which part of OSGeo's charter)
> 4. However, before making a decision, the board, and/or Martin, should 
> approach the GeoTools community, and ask for comment, in particular 
> ask the GeoTools community if there are any grounds for objection 
> which might revolve around how GeoTools might be adversely effected by 
> such a license change.

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