[Live-demo] Liberal licensing of Project Overviews in LiveDVD, do we want this?

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Sat Jul 9 13:54:38 PDT 2011

Regarding results of my polling of projects about license. I sent an 
email to this list, then followed up with an email to the nominated 
project contacts for each project.
I've had responses from all projects bar GeoMoose (a got one response 
saying they would respond later, but then seems to have forgotten).

Almost all of the responses were along the lines of "Yes, I'm fine with 
CC-By for Overviews and CC-By-SA for Quickstarts".

Simon Cropper who has written an excellent gvsig quickstart has noted on 
this list his preference for CC-By-SA to be used for Overviews. Simon 
also noted that we should collect people's responses publicly in order 
to ensure transparency, which is a good idea, and I'll follow through 
next asking for this confirmation.

One person is still wanting to check the license of his source material 
for Overviews, and investigate some of the legal issues.

But apart from that, everyone else was pro our license selection.

So I'll send a following email asking people to publicly state their 
acceptance of the OSGeo-Live license policy on this live email list, and 
also comment on whether there is any source material which cannot be 
included in osgeo-live.

On 06/07/11 10:03, Simon Cropper wrote:
> On 05/07/11 20:52, Ian Turton wrote:
>> On 30 June 2011 05:31, Johan Van de Wauw<johan.vandewauw at gmail.com>  
>> wrote:
>>> On Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 2:30 AM, Simon Cropper
>>> <scropper at botanicusaustralia.com.au>  wrote:
>>> Project overviews are so small that even if a restrictive license
>>> would apply, you could still get away with copying it completely as
>>> sort of citation. We are talking about 2-3 sentences and a list of
>>> features, which -I guess- in many cases have been at least partly
>>> copied and/or inspired from/by other sources often not noting any
>>> license and therefore copyrighted - so if you are so strict about
>>> licensing I'm not even sure we can publish them ourselves.
>> This sums up my feelings exactly - if the document we are concerned
>> with is commercially confidential there is no way I can see any has
>> copied my work so I can't enforce any licence anyway. So I don't
>> really care, to be honest. The project overviews are so short and
>> mostly derived from the project web site anyway I don't think it
>> matters.
>> I think the CC-BY-SA is right for the quickstarts where I have
>> actually authored something that took me time and energy but the
>> overview was mostly copy and paste any way so CC-BY is fine and we
>> just have to trust people anyway since none of us is going to go to
>> law over it if we even found out.
> Ian,
> Your sentiments summed up the feeling of the broader community and 
> consequently Cameron has proceeded with his proposal for CC-BY for 
> Project Overviews and CC-BY-SA for QuickStarts.
> Everyone keeps telling me that the Project Overviews are extracted 
> from the project websites and have little or no creative content. 
> Granted most are small but how much creative content is required 
> before you move from CC-BY to CC-BY-SA? To me this is a thorny 
> question but as demonstrated by the myriad of responses to this list 
> and directly to Cameron (who was going to provide an email outlining 
> the outcome of his enquires to the project contacts), I am alone at 
> being concerned about this issue. So I'll leave this issue alone.
> Another issue however is the blatant cut-and-paste mentality when 
> constructing project overviews. This implies that text on the project 
> website or associated documentation are appropriately licensed for 
> this to occur.
> *I am arguing that it is not*
> I have conducted a brief audit of the OSgeo Projects Websites. I 
> created the list of projects below from the main page of the OSGeo 
> Foundation website - http://www.osgeo.org/ so the list is just a 
> subset of what is on the Live DVD (hopefully an indicative subset).
> I have grouped the projects based on the type of copyright...
> Group 1. No copyright specified so local laws kick in
> Group 2. Ambiguous or variable licensing (see notes), and
> Group 3. Full 'all right reserved' copyright specified
> My simple audit can be found at the bottom of this email.
> Using information from Group 1 or Group 3 websites is not allowed 
> without approaching the copyright owners and getting permission. This 
> permission should be flagged at the start of a Project Overview with a 
> disclaimer such as 'Reproduced with permission by Author 2011'.
> The copyright for the Group 2 websites is at best ambiguous (see 
> notes). I am not sure how GNU Affero GPL and GNU Free Documentation 
> License 2002 relates to CC-BY. This would be a matter for solicitors I 
> suppose. Quantum GIS and GeoNetworks however is a little clearer -- 
> documentation from these sites which is released under a CC-BY-SA 
> license CAN NOT be re-released under a CC-BY license (this is contrary 
> to the SA option).
> So following my audit it is apparent that none of the source documents 
> mentioned as being used to create Project Overviews can be simply be 
> cut-and-paste from the project documentation, as everyone is telling 
> me happens, without the authors of the derived documents being in 
> breach of copyright. The only time this would not be the case is when 
> the author of the Project Overview is the author of the original 
> source document. In projects where hundreds are involved in creation 
> of documentation this would be highly unlikely.
>                      --- My simple audit ---
> Group 1. Websites with no copyright notices (i.e. they do not state 
> they are in public domain, CC0, CC-BY or CC-BY-SA). In  most 
> jurisdictions, the author is automatically covered by a 'copyright - 
> all rights reserved' option.
> - deegree / homepage and wiki
> - MapBuilder
> - MapGuide Open Source
> - OpenLayers
> - gvSIG
> - FDO
> - GEOS
> - MetaCRS
> - PostGIS
> Group 2. Ambiguous or variable licensing
> - geomajas - GNU Affero GPL is specified at the footer of
>   the website. It is unclear if this 'software' licence
>   relates to the software or the text on the page as this
>   licence is usually applied to the former not the latter.
> - Mapblender - Website has no licence specified. The PDF manual is
>   GNU Free Documentation License 2002.
> - GRASS GIS - Home page 'copyright - all rights reserved' license
>   but wiki GNU Free Documentation License 2002.
> - Quantum GIS - Home page 'copyright - all rights reserved' license
>   but wiki CC-BY-SA.
> - GeoNetworks - Home page 'copyright - all rights reserved' license but
>   documentation released under CC-BY-SA
> Group 3. 'copyright - all rights reserved' license specified
> - Geoserver
> - Mapfish
> - MapServer
> - GeoTools
> - OSSIM - Home page, PDF documents and Wiki all under 'copyright -
>   all rights reserved' license

Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Director
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

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