MapGuide fork of AGG

Frank Warmerdam warmerdam at POBOX.COM
Wed Oct 24 10:58:50 EDT 2007

Dave McIlhagga wrote:
> Ok - let me rephrase that. Does that mean when distributing MapServer 
> with AGG 2.5, in that instance all of that code (including the MapServer 
> source code) would have to be distributed via a GPL license.


If one distributes MapServer linked with a GPL AGG I *think* you are
required to provide MapServer under GPL terms.  Because there is no
one contributor who has rights to alter MapServer licensing terms I
believe the distributor would be in violation of the AGG GPL terms.

> Does that also then mean that any users who are bundling MapServer today 
> in proprietary solutions could not do so with this build?

There is some ambiguity as you "move up the stack" as to whether
the GPL terms still apply.  For instance, a web front end that
involved a GPL AGG enabled MapServer via http/wms would likely be
ok.  But arguable a MapScript application would have to be
distributed under GPL.

> Does this mean that if other 3rd party proprietary components are 
> included in a distributed build that they too would be subject to 
> availability via GPL?

If they are considered to be linked with AGG, and if they
redistribute them, then yes.

> If the above are true - I can think of a few pretty significant 
> instances where this decision could be pretty big problems.

This is my conclusion.

While end users who don't redistribute their binaries (including
those providing proprietary web based services) should be ok, anyone
who has to distribute software needs to think very carefully before
distributing GPL AGG enabled binaries.

We could request some specific legal advice on this topic, but think it
is clear that MapServer needs a non-GPL AGG fork that can be dropped
in and used for distributors even if lags the mainstream AGG.

Best regards,
I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, warmerdam at
light and sound - activate the windows |
and watch the world go round - Rush    | President OSGeo,

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