[OSGeo-Discuss] Fwd: [Free-gis] ILWIS to become freeware

Arnulf Christl arnulf.christl at wheregroup.com
Wed Jan 31 01:53:35 PST 2007

Emil Zegers wrote:
> Hello list,
>>From a contact at ITC I've heard that ILWIS will become open source
> under the GPL license.

that is good to hear! 

> More info is available on the 52 Degrees North website
> http://www.52north.org/
> Emil Zegers

FYI - there has been some discussion in the past that 52N is actually not an Open Source Project but registered as a for profit company in Germany. The website proposes some <judgmental> dubious </judgmental> ideas about licensing attesting a pretty closed shop mentality regarding governance. Currently the web site is down so it is difficult to find out more. 

The sections in the web site regarding double licensing as GPL and xxx?, governance, CLA, etc. have been changed a dozen times in the past year, they are still finding out themselves. They have repeatedly signaled interest in associating more with OSGeo and also appeared at last years Intergeo OSGeo's Open Source Park (I still owe a report). This was followed by a flame on the German mailing list when it became public that ESRI USA is shareholder of 52N. One of the other shareholders of 52N is conterra. As of summer 2006 ESRI Germany is major shareholder of conterra. If I was paranoid I would see ESRI taking over Open Source (whatever that would mean).

When I was talking to an ESRI representative (it says "Spatial Data Infrastructure Global Manager" on the bcard) and she was very interested in what they should or could do with 52N now. They simply do not know and want to learn. Maybe it is just that. I don't know. 

One of the few things that I do know is some of the people working in 52N projects - and they are very normal people doing good work. It is just not transparent at all what the plans for, with and around 52N are. As it is a business and not an Open Source project I see no way that this could change. 

Best regards, 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Sajith VK
> Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 4:46 AM
> To: discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> Subject: [OSGeo-Discuss] Fwd: [Free-gis] ILWIS to become freeware
> Hello all,
> ILWIS, a popular GIS developed by the International Institute for
> Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), The Netherlands, is
> to be made freeware from July 1st, 2007.
> It may be good if we can persuade them to release it under GPL, or
> any other Free software License. I think OSGeo is the right group to
> communicate with ITC people and persuade them to release it as
> a free software...

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