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

Simon Cropper scropper at botanicusaustralia.com.au
Sat Jul 9 20:29:12 PDT 2011


I don't think that this is too much to ask since people would need to 
gather this information anyway to be able to 'sign' the disclaimer that 
you outlined.

All I am asking is that the paper trail is transparent.

On 10/07/11 13:25, Simon Cropper wrote:
> Cameron,
> 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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