[GRASS5] New info on openDWG

Bernhard Reiter bernhard at intevation.de
Wed Sep 1 10:05:56 EDT 2004

On Tue, Aug 31, 2004 at 10:03:02PM -0700, Michael Barton wrote:

> Actually the Open Design Alliance licensing strategy is not all that
> confusing. Basically, if you want to sell a piece of software that uses the
> libraries or other utilities that they have written, you can do so. You just
> need to pay them a licensing fee for making a profit from their software. If
> you choose to use their software and not pay them a license fee, you cannot
> sell your software either.

It is not confusing, but unfriendly to Free Software like GRASS.

> I don't think their license is problematic in and of itself, and thought
> that this kind of license might be compatible with the way GRASS is
> distributed, and worth asking about. But general consensus seems to be that
> it is not compatible with the GRASS license and distribution. 

I think it was a very good idea from you to go and ask about it.
It seem though that the Open Design Alliance is not just incompatible
with GRASS and its license, but also more general with with Free Software.

> While it is unfortunate that GRASS cannot make use of openDWG more
> extensively than it now does, I am glad that the people who create and
> manage the GRASS project are conscientious enough about proper licensing to
> consider this as thoroughly as they have. This is important to the people
> who use GRASS. 

Yes it is very important. Before 1999 GRASS was loosing trust
of many users because there were not clear licensing terms.
Since then GRASS has regained a lot of trust and a few developers.

> However, if there is any kind of consensus about communicating with the
> alliance about ways to work with the GRASS project, I am happy to help in
> any way I can since they are HQ'ed here in my neighborhood.

I would consider you part of the GRASS project.
Most people working on GRASS are Free Software people and it would
might interesting to explain the benefit of Free Software to them.
Unless the alliance seriously looks into being friendly to Free Software
there is not much that can be done.


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