[OSGeo-Discuss] Software Copyright ownership

Jorge Gaspar Sanz Salinas jsanz at osgeo.org
Mon Feb 15 04:52:46 PST 2010

On 14 February 2010 22:44, Brian Russo <brian at beruna.org> wrote:
> Can you give an example of some osgeo software that is a concern for
> US export controls?

Well this topic is under discussion on the board (AFAIK) but, the wiki
page says:


All of our products are developed via online collaboration in public
forums and distributed from distributed servers some within the
territory of the United States of America. Therefore, U.S. export laws
and regulations apply to our distributions and remain in force as
products and technology are re-exported to different parties and
places around the world

As the wiki page states, it's more or less the same policy used by the
Apache Foundation.

> I'm having trouble thinking of any, since encryption isn't really a
> big factor in most GIS software. Even if it is a component of the
> software, as long as those encryption components reside outside of it
> in openssl or similar - while it is an inconvenience - it can be
> handled the same way this matter has been for years.
> Distribute/produce the software inside the US without the encryption -
> and then foreigners can obtain openssl from outside the US.. compile
> the software, etc.
> There are probably some GIS software packages that would fall under
> the EAR, but since they meet the GSN requirements for being 'generally
> available to the public', they are exempted 15 CFR §734.7(b). Likewise
> even if there was a non-encryption product that somewhere fell under
> ITAR, it is also exempt 22 CFR §125.1(a) since open source software is
> in what ITAR considers accessibility in the public domain.
> There's still of course the matter of places like North Korea/other
> embargoed nations, but unless you're actively initiating such specific
> transfers then there's no concern since the EAR language that I'm
> aware of refers to 'downloading or causing the downloading...'.

I don't know what "EAR" means on this context (not talking about EJBs,
right?) but as it seems that your knowledge on this field is far
better than mine, can you confirm if is or not a law infringement of
the OSGeo Foundation to let Cuban or North Korean people to download
any product from OSGeo stack*? The wiki text I've copied says the
contrary, isn't it?

* from its own servers like GDAL or hosted outside like Geonetwor,
Geoserver, etc.

Jorge Gaspar Sanz Salinas
Ingeniero en Geodesia y Cartografía

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