[OSGeo-Discuss] [OSGeo-Standards] Lidar News magazine false statements on (L)GPL (Was REPORT: my OGC membership slot)

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Sun Oct 4 20:34:09 PDT 2015

Hi Martin,
Based on your description below, it appears that Lewis Graham is using 
deliberate technical obfuscation under the banner of ASPRS, which is 
tarnishing the technical credibility of ASPRS.

Oliver's detailed rebuttal is good, but is only valuable if a number of 
people of influence who read and are swayed by the rebuttal.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on publishing a correction of 
facts, as presented by Oliver (or similar)?
Further, in future, you might find it helpful to consult with experts in 
Open Standards prior to publishing, in order to:
a. Correct facts before publishing, and hence provide a more credible 
publication. We can put you in touch with appropriate experts.
b. Provide a balanced article, with different opinions.
Would you like us to help source contacts that you could call upon for 
an opinion?

I hope we don't have to go as far as building upon our previous Open 
Letter, which would effectively publicly discredit Lewis (again) and 
would tarnish the reputation of Lewis/ASPRS and wouldn't look good for 
publications presenting un-countered FUD.

I suspect the OGC might be interested in helping counter the FUD being 
spread. Possibly by approaching offenders behind the scene and 
suggesting they desist with the FUD, or by respectfully countering the 
FUD in public forums.

Martin, Scott,
I'd be interested to hear how the OGC Point Cloud working group has been 
Is positive progress being made?
(Feel free to point at a blog or web page or similar which might already 
have such details).

Warm regards,
Cameron Shorter

On 3/10/2015 11:46 pm, Martin Isenburg wrote:
> Hello,
> I was hoping that Lewis Graham would see the futility of furthering 
> his incorrect claims on the "dangers" of the LGPL license for 
> commercial projects (and his other odd statements) but he continues to 
> do so not just in private but also in his role as the Chair of the 
> ASRPS LAS Working Group  This gives his FUD non-sense a very prominent 
> outlet in front of very influential people, so OSGeo should probably 
> respond to this a bit more loudly than usual.
> In the "LiDAR Sidebar" at the ASPRS UAS Reno conference [1] there was 
> a discussion on point cloud formats that was more or less a direct 
> consequence of the "Open Letter" by OSGeo [2]. Lewis continued to 
> claim that it was impossible to make LASzip an official format because 
> I would be unwilling to donated it under an MIT license to the ASPRS 
> (note: i do not even remember being asked) and that an LGPL would be 
> impossible and "dangerous" for commercial companies to work with 
> (note: nevermind the 55+ companies that already do [3]).
> So I emailed the participants (my dial-in connection was shakey) the 
> following:
> "Here a detailed rebuttal of Lewis' "LGPL of Martin's LASzip 
> implementation is dangerous" non-sense:
> http://odoepner.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/lidar-news-publishes-uninformed-gpl-rant/
> And yes, the currently available open LASzip format implementation 
> (!!!) comes with a "static linking exception" because some new devices 
> do not support dynamic linking well. Would be good to get someone to 
> sponsor the creation of an open LASzip format specification (!!!) so 
> anyone can reimplement it and give their resulting implementation 
> whatever license they see best fit. A license is only attached to a 
> particular implementation. From an open LASzip format specification 
> anyone could write their own implementation (closed or open with any 
> license they want)."
> To which Lewis answered (just repeating the same old FUD):
> "Rather than entering into an inane debate over licensing with Martin, 
> I suggest anyone who is concerned check with their intellectual 
> property attorney prior to incorporating third party software into 
> internal build software, regardless of the license type of that third 
> party software.  We do a lot of software consulting and most of our 
> more savvy clients clearly specify what type of licensing can be 
> incorporated into the composite deliverables.
> I also suggest that the world of software development and deployment 
> has become far too complex to continue to use the undefined term “open 
> source.”  For example, some customers have source code to the GeoCue 
> production software under license.  Is that Open Source?  I suggest 
> instead that we use terminology such as “binaries available under 
> license XYZ” or “source suitable for compilation available under 
> license ABX.”"
> I can not believe that Lewis himself actually believes his own 
> statements but uses them tactically to spread fear, uncertainty, and 
> doubt. I am not sure why. Maybe in order to stall the standardization 
> process of LAS and LAZ because he is somehow afraid it will loosen his 
> grip onto the LAS format?
> Regards,
> Martin @rapidlasso
> [1] 
> http://uasreno.org/2015/09/09/asprs-adds-lidar-sidebar-to-reno-program/
> [2] http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/LIDAR_Format_Letter
> [3] http://laszip.org/#software-with-native-laz-support
> On Mon, Sep 21, 2015 at 12:00 PM, Martin Isenburg 
> <martin.isenburg at gmail.com <mailto:martin.isenburg at gmail.com>> wrote:
> >
> > Hello,
> >
> > We (Oliver and me) had contacted the (new) editor (Roland Mangold 
> who is cc-ed) last week and suggested to use the contents of this blog 
> article
> >
> > 
> http://odoepner.wordpress.com/2015/06/16/lidar-news-publishes-uninformed-gpl-rant/
> >
> > authored by Oliver Doepner as a factual rebuttal of Lewis Graham's 
> FUD rant on GPL/LGPL for publishing in the next issue of the LiDAR 
> Magazine (the two-month ago rebranded LiDAR News magazine). I have no 
> final word from the Roland yet but our communication suggested that 
> this would happen. Please check Oliver's column for any errors (should 
> you care) so he can correct them prior to this being published.
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Martin @rapidlasso
> >
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Sep 21, 2015 at 11:52 AM, Jo Cook 
> <jocook at astuntechnology.com <mailto:jocook at astuntechnology.com>> wrote:
> >>
> >> I think this is something that we at OSGeo should definitely 
> respond to. Perhaps we could contact the magazine and explain that 
> there were some factual errors in the article, and ask for a chance to 
> respond?
> >>
> >> Jo
> >>
> >> On Mon, Sep 21, 2015 at 10:38 AM, Johan Van de Wauw 
> <johan.vandewauw at gmail.com <mailto:johan.vandewauw at gmail.com>> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> On Fri, Sep 18, 2015 at 6:31 PM, Martin Isenburg
> >>> <martin.isenburg at gmail.com <mailto:martin.isenburg at gmail.com>> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> > Another curious thing is that I (and the open source license 
> LGPL) was
> >>> > attacked vehemently in a recent column called "Open Source 
> Mania" by Lewis
> >>> > Graham that was published in the LiDAR News magazine. Viewer 
> discretion
> >>> > advised and parental guidance suggested ... you will not like 
> this FUD
> >>> > attack:
> >>> >
> >>> > 
> http://www.lidarmag.com/PDF/LiDARNewsMagazine_Graham-OpenSourceMania_Vol5No4.pdf
> >>> >
> >>>
> >>> I read the article and there are a lot of statements there which 
> are false.
> >>> " if you touch a piece of GPL code with the nine foot pole of
> >>> launching it with a Python script, that script must now be GPLed"
> >>> not true
> >>>
> >>> "Suppose you have developed some very, very clever algorithm on which
> >>> you and your university have applied for a patent. If you have coded
> >>> your algorithm and used any GPL whatsoever, you just GPLed your
> >>> patent. The patent rights effectively transfer to the Open Software
> >>> Foundation for free distribution."
> >>>
> >>> Completely untrue. The Open Software Foundation does not exist. You
> >>> don't transfer patent rights at all. A well known counter-example is
> >>> the algortihm for MP3, where the code (lame) was released under LGPL.
> >>>
> >>> I think as OSGeo we should reply to the statements, this is an attack
> >>> on our community. Perhaps we can ask someone from the Free Software
> >>> Foundation Europe to help write a response?
> >>>
> >>> Kind Regards,
> >>> Johan
> >>> _______________________________________________
> >>> Discuss mailing list
> >>> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org <mailto:Discuss at lists.osgeo.org>
> >>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> Jo Cook
> >> Astun Technology Ltd, The Coach House, 17 West Street, Epsom, 
> Surrey, KT18 7RL, UK
> >> t:+44 7930 524 155
> >> iShare - Data integration and publishing platform
> >>
> >> *****************************************
> >>
> >> Company registration no. 5410695. Registered in England and Wales. 
> Registered office: 120 Manor Green Road, Epsom, Surrey, KT19 8LN VAT 
> no. 864201149.
> >
> >
> >
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Cameron Shorter,
Software and Data Solutions Manager
Suite 112, Jones Bay Wharf,
26 - 32 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW 2009

P +61 2 9009 5000,  W www.lisasoft.com,  F +61 2 9009 5099

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