[OpenLayers-Dev] RFC: Changing the License on OpenLayers

Christopher Schmidt crschmidt at metacarta.com
Tue Oct 9 12:53:03 EDT 2007

During the FOSS4G conference, the available members of the PSC sat down
with our incubation mentor (Howard Butler) and Frank Warmadam, president
of OSGeo, to discuss completing OSGeo incubation of OpenLayers.

It was decided that the easiest path forward for all involved would be
to change the license on all OpenLayers materials -- including all
future releases -- to be licensed under the license that MetaCarta has
been calling the 'Clear BSD'. The Clear BSD is essentially the BSD
license, with an extra clause that states that no patent rights are
granted with the license.  

In the past, we had posted to the dev/users lists about changing the
repository license from the MetaCarta-specific one to the Clear BSD.
(This had been discussed internally on the PSC list, then made public.)
Now, we are having the same discussion, but instead of changing just the
repository license, we are proposing to change the release license as

Changing this license will allow us to remove all MetaCarta-specific
aspects of the release process. It has no (known) change in the actual
licensing restrictions. Changing the release process allows us to 
proceed with OSGeo incubation. 

As a reminder, for those who haven't been paying attention, an
explanation of MetaCarta's need for the "Clear BSD" license is available
from http://labs.metacarta.com/license-explanation.html , and has (in
bold) the changes in the license text. (They're pretty minor.)

This RFC is a request for any comments on the intention to change, for
all future releases of OpenLayers, the release license to be the Clear
BSD license, and (since the repository license will then be the same)
to thereafter refer to it only as the "Clear BSD" license in the code,
docs, etc. 

I am in favor (+1) of making this change as soon as the 2.5 release is
out, making 2.5 the last release shipped under the official BSD license,
and at that time making the previously proposed changes to the SVN
layout in order to take into account the licensing change.

(PSC Members: I know we voted on this on the PSC list, but I'd like to
have a public vote as part of our goal of moving PSC list discussions to
the public view, so even if you feel like you voted, please vote again

Christopher Schmidt

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