[OSGeo-Discuss] Software Copyright ownership

Ian Turton ijturton at gmail.com
Sun Dec 13 16:36:24 PST 2009

On Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 10:58 AM, Arnulf Christl <seven at arnulf.us> wrote:
> What do folks think about software Copyright ownership? OSGeo could suggest
> that project steering committees move the Copyright of their software under
> the hood of OSGeo as GeoTools and others already did. In some cases the
> respective project steering committees might not be able to do such a thing
> because they do not own it in the first place. Is that a good situation?

The GeoTools case was mostly motivated by a realization that the
project management committee had no actual standing in any
jurisdiction. So if for any reason we needed to deal with an external
entity, for example a license breach we would have been unable to do
so as while the PMC held the copyright we didn't exist. The PMC had
collected the copyright so that we could change the license from GPL
to LGPL.

So I'd say that it's probably a good thing on the whole to let
copyright reside with OSGeo as they can provide the legal entity that
was pretty much beyond the ability of the GeoTools team to create as
we were too global, plus the whole point of making the first GeoTools
open source was to avoid having to talk to lawyers at the university.

Ian Turton

Sent from Sydney, Nsw, Australia

More information about the Discuss mailing list