[GRASS5] Re: [GRASSLIST:10616] FWD: [OSGeo-Discuss] Incubation Committee / Contributor Agreements]

Glynn Clements glynn at gclements.plus.com
Mon Feb 27 23:16:17 EST 2006

Markus Neteler wrote:

> we had a board meeting today in the OSGeo Foundation and
> discussed details such as the project incubation. This
> is a term borrowed from the Apache Foundation where all
> projects wishing to join the foundation have to go through.
> It covers basically license issues, a contributor
> agreement, project management and the state of the
> community (no dead projects are desired). Some draft
> notes can be found here:
> http://www.fossgis.de/osgeo/index.php/Project_Incubation
> (this is the temporary wiki of the OSGeo Foundation unless
> the osgeo.org isn't completely ready).
> Attached I forward a fresh email from Frank Warmerdam
> with more details. Things want to be discussed now.

> The board has reviewed a proposed committer agreement based loosely on
> the Apache committer agreement.  Now we are looking for broader feedback on
> it the agreements.  Of most interest is feedback from significant code
> contributors.   The draft agreements are available at:
>    http://www.fossgis.de/osgeo/index.php/Contributor_Agreement

The main issue which I see is that the wording doesn't appear to give
the submitter any choice over the licence(s) used by the foundation:

  2. Grant of Copyright License. Subject to the terms and conditions of
  this Agreement, You hereby grant to the Foundation and to recipients
  of software distributed by the Foundation a perpetual, worldwide,
  non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable copyright license
  to reproduce, prepare derivative works of, publicly display, publicly
  perform, sublicense, and distribute Your Contributions and such
  derivative works.

This appears to suggest that the foundation can redistribute
contributions under whichever licence it chooses, the only restriction
being in the opening paragraph:

  In return, the Foundation shall not use Your Contributions in a way
  that is contrary to the public benefit or inconsistent with its
  nonprofit status and bylaws in effect at the time of the

Unless the agreement includes a "space" to state a specific licence,
all contributions will essentially be under a BSD/MIT style licence
(i.e. permitting the creation of proprietary derivatives).

Glynn Clements <glynn at gclements.plus.com>

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