[OSGeo-Discuss] Software Copyright ownership

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at pobox.com
Mon Dec 14 07:47:53 PST 2009

Arnulf Christl 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?


While I would prefer copyright in OSGeo projects to reside with OSGeo for
simplicity and uniform management, I am concerned that the paperwork to
do this properly would be a barrier to participation.  I am also concerned
that some developers would be concerned about OSGeo having the right to
relicense their software - for instance, possibly moving code from LGPL/GPL
to more permissive open source license - contrary to their wishes when they
contributed the code.

I am also doubtful of our ability to convincingly get all the code of some
projects assigned to OSGeo.  An incomplete job does not seem much better than
not having bothered at all.

So, I'm on the side of "business as usual" which is that it is up to the
project to decide how they want to handle this as long as things are
handled responsibly and the results are under an open source license.

I would note that despite some cloudiness in the MySQL world, it remains
clear that the code remains available to use under the open source license
it was originally published under (GPL I think?).  I think that is the
key guarantee.

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    | Geospatial Programmer for Rent

More information about the Discuss mailing list