[Board] FOSS, OSGeo, FOSS4G and OSGeoLive 13

Brian M Hamlin maplabs at light42.com
Mon Aug 19 08:54:05 PDT 2019

Dear Board of OSGeo, Project Steering Committee members, stakeholders, 
all --

*FOSS4G 2019* in Bucarest, Romania (one week from today) shows many, 
very positive signs, in particular for OSGeo dot org. FOSS4G 2019 is a 
renewed opportunity for OSGeo dot org to build recognition and respect 
among a crowded and often competitive tech foundation world.

   The spotlight is ready to shine on OSGeo dot org, and I ask the Board 
and stakeholders, to *renew their commitments* to support /both/ the 
*OSI* definition of Free Software and also, the *GPL* in its various 
forms [0].

  In the OSGeoLive Overview Presentation, the opening slide says :

   "OSGeoLive -- an Open Source, Geospatial GNU/Linux Distribution"

(it may be that there are legal assertions by the GNU / Free Software 
Foundation that affect this wording)  This line could be misunderstood 
to say, that OSGeoLive is a GPL project (!)  In contrast, the Debian 
project -- ironically not recognized by the Free Software Foundation [1] 
-- has very strict rules on publication contents, which are not always 
friendly to some OSI definitions. The contents and inclusion guidelines 
for OSGeoLive are /not the same /as the Debian project [2].

   I believe that there is wide agreement within OSGeo dot org community 
that both GPL and OSI definitions of software license have their places, 
and that it is worthwhile to make sure that partners and critics know 
that both approaches have a long-term support with OSGeo, and on 
OSGeoLive Linux.

   thanks and best regards from Berkeley, California --Brian M Hamlin

[0] OSS is typically defined as software that can be accessed, used, 
modified, and shared by anyone. OSS is often distributed under licenses 
that comply with the definition of “Open Source” provided by theOpen 
Source Initiative <https://opensource.org/osd>or meet the definition of 
“Free Software” provided by theFree Software Foundation 

[1] https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.en.html

[2] https://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/

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