[Incubator] OSGeo funding for legal support

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Fri Sep 14 19:16:10 EDT 2007

I'm very concerned about the breakdown of the Geotools incubation 
process and especially about the resigning of 2 of OSGeo's highly 
movitated, highly respected, evangelists.

This is a critical issue that has the potential to tarnish the 
reputation of and effectiveness of OSGeo.

We need to get to the bottom of this and fix it.

My initial chat with Jody suggests that Geotools has been frustrated by 
excessively slow legal support from OSGeo. This mirrors my experience 
with Mapbuilder where most of my legal questions were left unanswered by 
the legal profession.

I see legal support as one of the major responsibilities of OSGeo as it:
1. Underpins the quality control of OSGeo packages.
2. Is a service unavailable to many Open Source projects.

It seems OSGeo should be funding reliable legal support.

Jody Garnett wrote:
> Thanks for the assistance Frank, I also resigned being GeoTools 
> representative last year.
> The reason I stepped down was due to lack of efficiency when we 
> entered discussions of (c). I felt like I was no longer the right 
> person for the job.
> At the time we needed to step up a dialog with the OSGeo board - this 
> was hampered by constant waiting for legal feedback.
> I think the delays are causing more damage than anything else (by the 
> time discussion starts up again we all forgot where we are). When we 
> first got a proposed contributors agreement nobody was on hand that 
> understood what was being put on the table etc ... it took for months 
> until I heard an explanation that made sense to me.
> I would like to consider a change to tactics - concentrate on the end 
> goal of getting (c) sorted out. And then see how OSGeo can assist. 
> Even if the board can be decisive and say *we support exactly* the 
> following it would be a great help.
> In joining with a foundation we are trying to find an ally that can 
> offer advice and take legal responsibility for our code base. So far 
> OSGeo and the incubation process is not working out,
> Cheers,
> Jody
> Frank Warmerdam wrote:
>> Folks,
>> I have resigned as GeoTools mentor, and so we need a new project mentor.
>> Volunteers appreciated.
>> Best regards,
> _______________________________________________
> Incubator mailing list
> Incubator at lists.osgeo.org
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/incubator

Cameron Shorter
Systems Architect, http://lisasoft.com.au
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

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