MapGuide fork of AGG

Doyon, Jean-Francois jdoyon at NRCAN.GC.CA
Wed Oct 24 10:34:53 EDT 2007

Is it feasable to distribute a given software package (i.e. mapserver)
under more than one license?

Could one say, here's the GPL'ed MapServer, or here's the BSD-ish
MapServer? They can be entirely identical, maybe just different download
files with different license files or something like that.  Or maybe
it's one distribution, and you can give the user a choice?

In the end, those concerned about all this but really wanting AGG
support will need to use 2.4 ... If supporting those customers that need
a BSD MapServer is key, supporting AGG 2.4 into the future will be
necessary :(

Forking AGG seems like an even worst solution to me ...

Might've been nice to have AGG as LGPL instead of GPL ...


-----Original Message-----
From: UMN MapServer Developers List [mailto:MAPSERVER-DEV at LISTS.UMN.EDU]
On Behalf Of Frank Warmerdam
Sent: October 24, 2007 10:59
Subject: Re: [UMN_MAPSERVER-DEV] MapGuide fork of AGG

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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