[osgeo4w-dev] Re: Click through proprietary licensing

Howard Butler hobu.inc at gmail.com
Fri Nov 12 09:45:02 EST 2010

On Nov 11, 2010, at 12:55 PM, Frank Warmerdam wrote:
> 1) It pisses me off to feel I'm having to bend over backwards to help
> proprietary software vendors assert their rights over OSGeo4W users.

Yes, I agree.  Yuck.  Additionally, the impetus to do this is because the proprietary software vendors don't provide installers to eliminate the need for folks like us to redistribute their libraries.  I can't practically point someone at the OCI website and say "install Instant Client" in my documentation and reasonably expect that any significant percentage of the folks so directed would actually accomplish the task.  The usage model of libraries like the MrSID SDK, ArcSDE client, OCI, ECW, etc is that they are *expected* to redistributed and properly installed within the context of a given application.  

> 2) We really ought to become more aware of the implications of mixing
> proprietary software and GPLed software in OSGeo4W.  For instance, it is
> not legal for us to distribute proprietary software that would be used
> by a GPLed package like GRASS.  In fact we are likely already in violation
> of this when GRASS uses the MrSID driver (though Lizardtech bent over
> backwards to make sure we didn't have to put our users through a click
> through license for it).

A separate OSGeo4W-GPL is probably the only solution to this.  The GPL's linking requirements and a project's usage of it implicitly implies it *doesn't* want and should never participate in a meta integration project such as OSGeo4W.  

> Also, I am keen to provide the best user experience I reasonably can for
> OSGeo4W users and being able to include some proprietary components could
> certainly go a long way to making that work (ie. ECW SDK, OCI, ...)

Me too.  

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