[OSGeo-Discuss] Thematic Mapping Engine as Open Source?

P Kishor punk.kish at gmail.com
Mon Jun 23 09:09:55 PDT 2008

On 6/23/08, Christopher Schmidt <crschmidt at crschmidt.net> wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 23, 2008 at 05:40:41PM +0200, Paolo Cavallini wrote:
>  > Bjorn Sandvik ha scritto:
>  >
>  > > I'll consider the pros and cons between different licenses. I don't have
>  > > commercial interests,
>  > > but I would like the project to be sustainable.
>  > >
>  > > I've changed my mind about using SourceForge, - I agree that Google Code
>  > > is more suitable.
>  >
>  > Please note:
>  > - GPL is more widely used
> Than what?
>  In any case, GPL is designed to prevent use of the software in a
>  specific set of contexts. I maintain my position that for Javascript
>  Libraries, the GPL is confusing at best, and tends to hurt uptake of
>  an open source project, in my experience. (ExtJS is a strong counter
>  example of a JS library which is GPL licensed -- but they are not an
>  open source project, just open source code.)
>  The GPL is a fine license for many things, I just think that open souce
>  Javascript Libraries isn't among them.
>  > - Google Code apparently puts severe restrictions on exporting code to
>  > several countries.
> Google Code follows the legal restrictions that are placed on it by the
>  government of the country in which the company is based. (I mentioned
>  this in my previous email.) Sourceforge is also a US-based company: it
>  has the same *legal* restrictions placed on it, and I don't know if
>  there is evidence that it doesn't have the same restrictions as Google
>  Code; if they do, I believe that they would be in violation of the law
>  anyway, though admittedly, as with all things, something being against
>  the law doesn't stop people from doing it.

This last point is an important one here -- the license is one thing,
the hosting server/country/jurisdiction is another.

Bjorn, since you work for the UN or are studying at U of Edinburgh,
consider hosting your code somewhere there. Choose whatever license
you want, but by hosting it in a different jurisdiction, your code
will be subject to different distribution/export restrictions, if any.

In other words, don't conflate the license (restrictions placed by
you) with the server/host (restrictions placed by the repository).

>  Regards,
>  --
>  Christopher Schmidt
>  Web Developer
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Puneet Kishor http://punkish.eidesis.org/
Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies http://www.nelson.wisc.edu/
Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) http://www.osgeo.org/

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