[OpenLayers-Dev] [Fwd: [OpenLayers-PSC] Two proposals: Copyright in Source, Corporate Copyright in Authors]

Tim Schaub tschaub at opengeo.org
Tue Nov 10 23:35:18 EST 2009


Roald de Wit wrote:
> Hi,
> If you are going to change the license, why not assign the copyright to
> OSGeo like has happened with GeoExt [1]? To me it seems that assigning
> it to 'OpenLayers Contributors' can cause issues if you want to change
> the license in the future, since you'll need to ask every contributor to
> agree on this. I've seen something similar happen with the Mozilla
> project [2]. Or does our BSD-like license not suffer from that?

To be clear, this proposal is not about changing the license granted 
when MetaCarta distributes OpenLayers (the Clear BSD).  This proposal is 
about two things:

1) the copyright statement in the code, and
2) the authors.txt file that we maintain.

The PSC is at a point where we can vote about changing those two things. 
  The PSC *cannot* assign copyright of OpenLayers to another entity 
(like OSGeo).  The PSC also *cannot* distribute OpenLayers with any 
other license unless it conforms with the Clear BSD.  The PSC *can* (at 
a later time) collect new contributor agreements from all contributors 
that either 1) assign copyright to a different entity, 2) grant license 
to a different entity to sublicense OpenLayers as they please.  In 
addition, MetaCarta can be advised by the PSC to distribute OpenLayers 
with a different license.

All of the above can be discussed as separate topics.  None really have 
to do with these two specific proposals.  These proposals are about 
clarifying the current situation: OpenLayers copyright is held 
collectively by the OpenLayers contributors, not by MetaCarta.

Thanks for voting,

> Regards, Roald
> [1] http://dev.geoext.org/trunk/geoext/license.txt
> [2] http://www-archive.mozilla.org/MPL/relicensing-faq.html
> On 11/11/09 12:58, Tim Schaub wrote:
>> Hey-
>> The Project Steering Committee has been discussing some issues with our
>> Contributor License Agreement and code copyright.  While there are
>> associated issues that might follow from this, we are at the point where
>> we'll be voting on proposals to change the copyright statement in the
>> code source and the authors file we maintain.
>> The bottom line is that by signing our CLA, contributors do not assign
>> copyright to anyone.  Instead, our CLA is about granting a license to
>> the project maintainer (MetaCarta).  It follows from this that the
>> copyright to OpenLayers is collectively held by the individuals and
>> corporations that signed contributor agreements.
>> Thanks to Chris for his careful work deciphering things.  Below are
>> summaries of his two proposals that we will be voting on (full message
>> at the bottom).
>> 1. Copyright in Source
>> ----------------------
>> Change all source files and other copyright statements to read
>> "Copyright OpenLayers Contributors" instead of "Copyright MetaCarta,
>> Inc."  In addition, include the URL for the authors file in the
>> copyright statement.
>> 2. Corporations in Authors File
>> -------------------------------
>> Where we have signed CCLA documents from contributors, include the
>> Corporation name along with the individual's name in the authors.txt file.
>> e.g.
>> James Bond (Her Majesty's Secret Service)
>> Thanks for voting.  And again, thanks to Chris for careful deductive work.
>> I'm +1 on both proposals.
>> Tim
>> -------- Original Message --------
>> Subject: [OpenLayers-PSC] Two proposals: Copyright in Source,  Corporate
>> Copyright in Authors
>> Date: Fri, 6 Nov 2009 10:14:28 -0500
>> From: Christopher Schmidt<crschmidt at metacarta.com>
>> To: psc at openlayers.org
>> Hi,
>> Two proposals. Please vote on each individually.
>> ----
>> Currently, the OpenLayers source files say "Copyright MetaCarta, Inc." with
>> a date. This is not correct; since we only have a license to code from
>> our contributors, and not the actual copyright of it, we should instead
>> change this text from:
>> /* Copyright (c) 2006-2008 MetaCarta, Inc., published under the Clear BSD
>>    * license.  See http://svn.openlayers.org/trunk/openlayers/license.txt
>> for the
>>    * full text of the license. */
>> to
>> /* Copyright (c) 2006-2009 OpenLayers Contributors, published under the
>> Clear
>>    * BSD license.  See
>> http://svn.openlayers.org/trunk/openlayers/license.txt for
>>    * the full text of the license. */
>> I am in favor of this change. (+1)
>> ----
>> Currently, our doc/authors.txt list does not identify the corporate entities
>> associated with contributors during the time which they made contributions
>> to OpenLayers. (Essentially, tying a CCLA to a person.) Since the code
>> copyright actually belongs in part to these organizations, I recommend that
>> we do our best to fix this situation, by doing our best to associate users
>> in the d oc/authors.txt with their corporate parents where appropriate.
>> For example, this might look like:
>> Christopher Schmidt (MetaCarta)
>> Tim Schaub (OpenGeo)
>> Schuyler Erle (MetaCarta, Entropy Free)
>> I am in favor of this change. (+1)
>> Best Regards,
> --
> Roald de Wit
> Software Engineer
> roald.dewit at lisasoft.com
> Commercial Support for Open Source GIS Software
> http://lisasoft.com/LISAsoft/SupportedProducts/
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Tim Schaub
OpenGeo - http://opengeo.org
Expert service straight from the developers.

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