[Board] Request to transfer domain deegree.org to OSGeo

Jens Fitzke fitzke at lat-lon.de
Wed Oct 14 03:50:46 PDT 2015

Hash: SHA1


Dear Board members,

In the mail cited below I described a problem we just had with deegree.org. In
the meantime it was possible, with the help of a professional lawyer, to
reject the prosecution. We removed everything from deegree.org which might
lead to the misinterpretation that commercial services are advertised there,
and we added an imprint, the latter as an interim solution to support the
rejection of the complaint.

As a long-term solution, as already pointed out below, I propose to transfer
the deegree.org domain to OSGeo. By that it would also from a legal point of
view be clear that it is a community domain, not a company domain. If that
transfer is possible, also the imprint could either be removed or adjusted to
the new situation.

Such a procedure could also be a solution for other OSGeo project who might
otherwise run into the same kind of trouble.

The question to you is, if such a transfer is possible, and what has to be
done to achieve it. Your feedback, please.

Kind regards,


- -------- Weitergeleitete Nachricht --------
Betreff: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] OSGeo is becoming irrelevant. Here's why. Let's
fix it.
Datum: Mon, 28 Sep 2015 09:57:18 +0200
Von: Jens Fitzke <fitzke at lat-lon.de>
Kopie (CC): discuss at lists.osgeo.org

Am 26.09.2015 um 17:20 schrieb Darrell Fuhriman:
> This is a perfect example.
> All of those are great and wonderful things! The community does great and 
> wonderful things. That’ s not my point.
> My point is, those activities would happen even if the OSGeo Foundation 
> disappeared. I’m not questioning whether we have a large and vibrant 
> community, we do. And we still would.
> My local chapter existed before it was an OSGeo chapter, and we would keep 
> on having meetings and doing fun and exciting things even without the
> OSGeo Foundation.

Same is true for the German chapter. But nevertheless there is need for
something more umbrella-like.

> Put another way: The OSGeo Foundation needs the Open Source Geospatial 
> community, but does the Open Source Geospatial community need the OSGeo 
> Foundation? I don’t see that it does.

Here's a case why the Open Source Geospatial community need the OSGeo
Foundation: Our company is currently being legally prosecuted as the owner of
the deegree.org domain. The claim is that on www.deegree.org there is a
commercial offering, but at the same time the web site lacks an imprint (which
is legally enforced in Germany for all commercial offerings). Besides the
question if some links to companies who provide "professional support" are
already a commercial offering, the main point here is, that lat/lon is made
responsible for something (providing the server) the company is only doing to
support the community. But the prosecutor is saying that lat/lon is
accountable here as per the whois entry.

We are currently evaluating reactions, together with a lawyer who is
experienced in legal aspects of Open Source. But as a more long-term solution
I'd say OSGeo should be the legal owner of deegree.org. From my naive legal
understanding this would help a lot to get things straight and more
transparent to the outside world.

This case might be a bit special, but it is a real one - and it might have
some larger impact as I am seeing other projects which have a similiar setting
and thus might run into the same kind of trouble. Depending on the legal
situation in the various countries, of course.

My 2 cents,


Version: GnuPG v2.0.22 (GNU/Linux)


More information about the Board mailing list