[Incubator] Mapbender Incubator Process

Rich Steele Rich.Steele at autodesk.com
Wed Apr 5 16:00:24 EDT 2006

Frank Warmerdam wrote:
>   o The public domain modules (class.pdf.php and class.ezpdf.php) can
>     be relicensed as you wish.  That this is a fundamental aspect of
>     public domain code.  My suggestion is that you relicense it under
>     the LGPL (your project license, right?) but make sure the original
>     author is properly credited.  I believe the LGPL addresses the
>     "no warranty" issue.  The main caveat I would offer is that I have
>     heard advice that there is no such thing as "public domain" in
>     countries (ie. much of Europe) and so the author placing something
>     the public domain may not in fact be sufficient to allow you to
>     relicense.  Perhaps Rich can address that?

Frank's approach is fine.  Since there is no stated license restriction,
you can incorporate this code into MB and license it under GPL.  There
are some folks who think "public domain" of this sort isn't even valid
in the US (http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/6225).  Others disagree
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/publicdomain/)  Outside the US, the
concept of public domain varies.  In the end, it boils down to whether
you believe the author of this code is going to change his/her mind and
revoke whatever "license" is implied by a "public domain" dedication.
Personally, I think this is fine to use as you intend to.  There is no
need to give the original author credit, but it certainly is the karmic
thing to do.
>   o If mod_treefolder isn't too fundamental to Mapbender, then you
>     might consider offering it as an extra download to keep it
>     distinct from the core package.  Alternatively, it might make
>     sense to contact the author and ask for permission to offer
>     a copy of it under the LGPL.  It may also be sufficient to make
>     it very clear in a README.LICENSE or something similar that is
>     distributed with the package that mod_treefolder is under a
>     different license.   I'm not sure how some of the LGPL concepts
>     of what constitutes a library apply in PHP.

You could either offer as a separate download, or you could simply keep
it as part of the distribution and note in a readme file (and perhaps
the documentation) the origin of the code, and reproduce the required
copyright notice.  The mod-treefolder license is essentially a variant
on the MIT license.  For those, like GDAL and Proj.4 in MapGuide
Enterprise, we have typically just reproduced the required notices in a
LICENSE.htm file in the source code.  We also link to a third party
notices file from the about box of the executable.

The two LGPL'd libraries (phpmailer and javascript vectorgraphics) can
be handled similarly, although the LGPL requirements are slightly


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