[Mapbender-dev] Re: How to include license text?

Christoph Baudson (WhereGroup) christoph.baudson at wheregroup.com
Tue Jan 15 04:12:16 EST 2008

Arnulf Christl schrieb:
> Michael Schulz wrote:
>> Dear Arnulf,
>> in yesterdays irc-meeting we were discussing if and how the header of
>> each file should or must include the license text.
>> Most participants favored a link to the license text, that would be
>> inlcuded in the header in  phpDoc style:
>> /**
>>  * $Id: class_kml_point.php 1948 2008-01-03 16:35:29Z christoph $
>>  *
>>  * @link http://www.mapbender.org/index.php/class_kml_point.php
>>  * @copyright 2002 CCGIS
>>  * @license http://opensource.org/licenses/gpl-license.php
>> */
>> Should a link in the header point to a local file or to an URL (Marc
>> suggested the URL of the original GPL v3). Both links should also be
>> possible.
>> Finally everyone wanted to hear the opinion of an expert (unanimous:
>> Arnulf), whether there are legal implications that need to be
>> respected.
>> It would be great if you could comment on that issue.
>> Cheers, Michael
> Hello, I have been out of the Mapbender context for some time, sorry 
> for that. I will look into this issue and report back until the next 
> IRC meeting.
> As a side note: We started off as GPL V2 and should carefully consider 
> whether we want to simply upgrade to V3 without any discussion. I 
> would suggest to not add any explicit links to GPL V3 right now.

As far as I have understood so far, the only critical point of using 
GPLv3 would be, if we wanted to mix Mapbender with other libraries 
licensed under GPLv2. At the moment, I don't see this happen: We have 
included some LGPL libs (no problem here, right?), some MIT and BSD (no 
problem at all I guess).

What I want to know is this: In our license header we explicitly state, 
that this software is released under GPLv2 !OR LATER!, which I believe 
is crucial. If this was not stated, it could not legally be used within 
a GPLv3 program. Is that correct?

So, if we just link to the license, we miss that bit (the "or later" 
part). We should consider that GPLv4 will be released at some time in 
the future, so keeping the "or later" part would be nice.

Another example: We are using jQuery, which is licensed under GPLv2. So 
technically, we would not be able to use it, if it was not using a 
double license, GPL and MIT (which is similar to BSD?).

So with my current level of knowledge, I would suggest switching to 
GPLv3, linking to the GNU site and keeping the additional license stuff 
we use now (for the "or later" part and warranty etc). And as soon as 
possible, hand the copyright to OSGeo. Once this is done, we could 
change the headers in all Mapbender files according to this. Not for 
Mapbender 2.5, rather 2.5.x or 2.6

Please correct me, if I got things wrong. Take a look for yourself. I'm 
getting dizzy with all this license mumbo-jumbo.

> Best regards, Arnulf.
>> =======
>> Hallo Arnulf,
>> wir hatten gestern im IRC-Chat eine Diskussion, darüber wie und ob im
>> Header jedes Files der License-Text stehen soll bzw. muss.
>> Die meisten waren der Meinung, dass ein Link zu dem Text der Lizenz
>> ausreichen sollte. Der Link würde im phpDoc-Stil in den Header
>> eingebaut (aus Mail von Christoph) etwa so:
>> /**
>>  * $Id: class_kml_point.php 1948 2008-01-03 16:35:29Z christoph $
>>  *
>>  * @link http://www.mapbender.org/index.php/class_kml_point.php
>>  * @copyright 2002 CCGIS
>>  * @license http://opensource.org/licenses/gpl-license.php
>> */
>> Dann tauchte die Frage auf, ob der Link zu einem lokalen Lizenz-File
>> zeigen sollte, oder zu einer URL (Marc schlug den Link zur
>> Original-GPL v3 vor). Evtl. wäre ja auch beides möglich.
>> Letztendlich wollten alle noch die Meinung eines Experten (einstimmig:
>> Arnulf) hören, ob es da noch Legales zu beachten gilt und wenn ja,
>> was.
>> Es wäre gut deine Ansicht zu hören.
>> Viele Grüße, Michael
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