[OSGeo-Discuss] Re: Liability protection project - call for participants

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Tue May 15 09:56:00 PDT 2007

Allan Doyle wrote:
> Thanks for bringing this to our attention, it's a topic that has renewed 
> relevance.
>  From the sound of it, OSGeo itself has too many eggs in its basket to 
> risk having them broken by providing a shield. 


Well, this is a concern at least.  I still think OSGeo *might* be
the appropriate organization to serve as a liability shield for
developers on OSGeo projects.  But as a director I am also quite
nervous about taking on liability for the organization, and I can't
help but think about what would happen to various OSGeo efforts if
the foundation was sucked under in a big legal battle.

The reason I suspect OSGeo may be the right organization is that it
already has established a reporting structure and rules around what
constitutes appropriate contribution to foundation projects.  By that
measure I think we are already "directing" in the sense that Bruce

 > But that ought not stop
> geo-foss developers from either joining up with Bruce's idea or from 
> setting up a geo-clone of that idea.
> Ideally, the legal issues would only have to be worked out once, and 
> everyone who wanted could join the "shield". There's nothing inherently 
> different about geo in this case, is there?

I do not believe there is anything special about geo.

For now I'm mainly watching with interest - especially I'm looking forward
to seeing what some real lawyers at the Software Freedom Law Center have to
say about the topic.  I doubt that we should be doing much in the meantime
other than expressing interest to Bruce if we think this is an important
thing to do.

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at pobox.com
light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
and watch the world go round - Rush    | President OSGeo, http://osgeo.org

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