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

Christopher Schmidt crschmidt at metacarta.com
Tue Oct 9 23:15:50 EDT 2007

On Tue, Oct 09, 2007 at 08:05:29PM -0700, Jason Birch wrote:
> Christopher Schmidt wrote:
> >The Clear BSD is essentially the BSD
> >license, with an extra clause that states that no patent rights are
> >granted with the license.  
> [snip]
> >Changing the release process allows us to 
> >proceed with OSGeo incubation. 
> Is Clear BSD an OSI-approved license, or has it been submitted to the 
> OSI for approval?
> I'm asking because I haven't found any information on this, and because 
> there's a nasty clause in the OSGeo bylaws which affects this:

Clear BSD has not yet been submitted to the OSI license-discuss list for
approval. I'll let Howard comment more thoroughly on this if he wants,
but the gist of the conversation at the code sprint was that the Clear
BSD license is like most BSD licenses -- so close to the existing BSD
license as to be essentially the same.

BSD licensed software included with a BSD distribution itself reportedly 
has 33 different variations on the "BSD" license. Frank stated that this
is true of the GDAL project as well -- there are a number of pieces of
software released under similar but occasionally differently worded
licenses, which he collectively refers to as the 'MIT/X' style licenses.

In the end, it may come down to a vote among either incubation or the
OSGeo board as to whether they consider the "Clear BSD" to be close
enough to OSI approved or not. If not, the next step will be to pursue
approval. (This is something MetaCarta plans to do regardless, but the
resources to do this have not been allocated yet, and the hope was to
move this forward without blocking on that. As a result, it's possible
that by the time a vote of that type happens, the license will already
be OSI approved.) If the license *fails* to be approved by OSI, then
we'll have a different problem, but we can cross that bridge when we
come to it.   

Christopher Schmidt

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