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

Simon Cropper scropper at botanicusaustralia.com.au
Sat Jul 9 20:25:37 PDT 2011


Maybe your suggested disclaimer could be augmented to state...

1. The Project Overviews are based on the following material which was 
released under the <insert name of license here> license.
- specify source material

2. The <name of license> has been confirmed to be a permissive license 
compatible with CC-BY.
- specify license type of source material
- may be multiple if derivative includes material from multiple sources

3. The link to the source document is here...
- so other can check

4. The link to the deed for the source document is here...
- so license terms can be verified.
- it also allows it to be clear what license or version of license the 
documentation was released under. For example MIT has a variety of 
varieties, as does Creative Commons. People need to verify and specify 
which license was used and point to the deed.

After this *then* you can insert your disclaimer.

On 10/07/11 12:47, Simon Cropper wrote:
> Cameron,
> Respondents need to do more than *just say they are happy* with Project
> Overviews being CC-BY. They need to *verify that the source material
> used in creation of this documentation* allows them to say they are OK.
> My audit below suggests that the bulk of projects checked would not be
> able to do this.
> Look at the GDAL discussion over the last few days. They have clarified
> the documentation is X/MIT licensed. This allows you to use the
> documentation *but* the LiveDVD needs to include the disclaimer that
> forms part of the licence deed at along with the documentation, so it is
> in some ways more like CC-BY-SA, not CC-BY. Looking at the discussion on
> the CC Website they equate the MIT licence to CC-BY-SA-NC.
> It is a simplistic view that all that is needed is to have a project
> representative say that the documentation is CC-BY without providing
> evidence (paper trail) showing that this is the case.
> On 10/07/11 06:54, Cameron Shorter wrote:
>> 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
>>> - GDAL/OGR
>>> - 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

Cheers Simon

    Simon Cropper
    Principal Consultant
    Botanicus Australia Pty Ltd
    PO Box 160, Sunshine, VIC
    W: www.botanicusaustralia.com.au

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