[OSGeo-Discuss] ECW License question

Tim Bowden tim.bowden at westnet.com.au
Mon Aug 14 02:33:25 PDT 2006

On Mon, 2006-08-14 at 11:04 +0200, Luca Casagrande wrote:
> Hi to all!
> I am developing a livecd that will be used in a Foss4G workshop, but I don't 
> know if i can add ecw support to gdal. 
> Basically we have got only GPL software inside it , but the use of the cd can 
> be also for commercial purpose...
> I have placed a text file on the desktop, with ECW license...what do you think 
> about?
> Thanks
> Luca

Having recently spoken to ermapper about the ecw license, they are aware
the license is problematic for foss.  The underlying problem is some
patents held by third parties which means they are not able to
distribute freely.  Good to see the software patent system is helping
innovation.  Again.  Essentially, if the software is used commercially,
they want a license fee.

My reading of the license is that it is internally inconsistent and
vague.  When I put this to ermapper, they agreed.  They have had trouble
finding a set of words that works.  They are aware that an osi approved
license would solve the problem, but are unable to do so.

I realise this doesn't answer your question, but it's the best help I
can give.

Tim Bowden
Mapforge Geospatial

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