[Incubator] New Application: GeoToolkit

Martin Desruisseaux martin.desruisseaux at geomatys.fr
Tue May 26 17:08:23 EDT 2009

Christopher Schmidt a écrit :
> Again, I don't think that preventing this is the role of OSGeo. Ensuring
> that projects are meeting the requirements of the license of places that
> they obtain code from is a perfectly reasonable task -- though generally
> I'm completely in support of leaving this up to the projects -- but
> stepping in to say "You need to give GeoToolkit credit for code that you
> are using which was written for the GeoToolkit project" would just be
> silly. The copyright notices are likely required to be in place, and
> anything beyond that would be well beyond the role of OSGeo as a
> foundation.

But this is the issue that I was about to develop in an other mail...

There is no "(C) Copyright Geotoolkit" or "(C) Copyright Geomatys" statement, at 
least not until very recently. They were only "(C) Copyright OSGeo" statements.

In the course of GeoTools incubation, we choose to get every contributors to 
give their copyright to OSGeo in order to resolve a legal issue ("GeoTools" was 
a non-existent legal entity) and for making easier an enventual upgrade of the 
licence, from LGPL 2.1 to LGPL 3.0. Adrian and myself were especially strong 
supporters of this approach.

We are not asking for credit statement. But until yesterday they were even no 
"Copyright Geomatys" statement, nothing else than "Copyright OSGeo"!

If Geotoolkit is incubated, I really wish to continue that way - to keep 
licensing issues simplier and in good faith toward GeoTools, for allowing code 
exchange with homogeneus licence. But this approach makes us more vulnerable to 
the concern that I have pointed. Because we volontary choosed to give all 
copyright to OSGeo, I though that hoping for some form of "equilibre" from OSGeo 
was not unfair.

If Geotoolkit is not incubated, we will protect ourself by adding "(C) Copyright 
Geomatys" below "(C) Copyright OSGeo" in every Geotoolkit classes. Actually we 
already took this move yesterday when we realized that it may become necessary. 
However if we do so and given that there is material in Geotoolkit which is 
probably of interest to GeoTools, then the GeoTools licence homogenity is 
broken. GeoTools would be in their right mind to react by adding themself "(C) 
Copyright OpenGeo" or similar statement, which would compromise the hard work we 
did during GeoTools incubation.

This issue may become totally irrelevant in two years if each project get enough 
of own identity. But for now there is a window of vulnerability and - if we play 
by the rule we were hoping to play inside OSGeo - there would be *no* copyright 
statement for protecting our work.

The alternative would be that, if OSGeo accepts to incubate Geotoolkit, is also 
accepts that we break the policy that we have setup ourself with GeoTools and 
add "(C) Geomatys" statements in all our work. But be aware that we avoided that 
until yesterday because I though that it would be unfair toward GeoTools (even 
if I'm the main author of all the code in the "geotoolkit" repository).

A compromise could be that we accumulate "(C) Geomatys" during a year and 
transfer the copyright to OSGeo once a year. This is not what we did since the 
incubation of GeoTools (we were giving copyright directly).


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