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

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Wed Oct 10 01:53:15 EDT 2007

(changed to +1 if +0 is considered blocking)

As noted on PSC email lists, I don't like the proliferation of Open 
Source licenses. I understand Metacarta's concerns regarding the 
ambiguity of the BSD license and think they are valid.

I'm encouraged by Metacarta's intent to propose the "Clear BSD" be 
incorporated into the next version of the BSD. However I'm concerned by 
the delay engaging the BSD community, and it seems no resources are 
allocated to the task. Will Metacarta still resource license concerns 
after Openlayers has completed OSGeo graduation?

That said, (this time on a public list) I'm in favor of migrating to the 
Open BSD as waiting for an updated BSD license is likely to take years.

Christopher Schmidt wrote:
> 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.   
> Regards,

Cameron Shorter
Systems Architect, http://lisasoft.com.au
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

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