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

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Tue Jul 12 02:05:58 PDT 2011

I'm ok with a variant on your points 1, 3, and 4.
Point 2 is likely to stump 90% of developers to the point of 
procrastination, unless we can provide a link to a table noting what 
licenses can be included in CC-By and CC-By-SA.

Do you know of such a table?

On 10/07/11 15:29, Simon Cropper wrote:
> Cameron,
> 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

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

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