[Live-demo] Impacts of OSGeo-Live document license selection on OSGeo

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Sat Jun 18 16:00:04 PDT 2011

I'm expanding this discussion on OSGeo-Live documentation license 
selection, as our decision will have a significant knock on effect to 
the rest of OSGeo, and OSGeo business models, and I'd like to give 
everyone the chance to air the opinions.
Please continue discussion on the OSGeo-Discuss list.

We are wishing to determine which Creative Commons license we recommend 
for OSGeo-Live Project Overviews and Quickstarts. [1] Either:
Attribution (CC BY), or
Attribution Share Alike (CC BY-SA)

By selecting Share-Alike clause in the Creative Commons license, we 
force all derivative documents to also be released as Creative Commons.

In order to decide whether this is desirable, lets guess where people 
would likely wish  to include OSGeo-Live docs.

For Project Overviews:
1. Case Studies
2. Comparisons of Software (both Open Source and Proprietary)
3. The numerous types of documentation created for projects which 
incorporate Open Source: RFQ responses, Designs, Maintainer Guides, etc. 
These docs will often be commercial in confidence.
4. News articles about Open Source, published in newspapers or magazines 
with their own copyright policy.
5. OSGeo Web Site
6. Project Web Sites, which possibly have a permissive documentation policy.
7. Training Material
8. Basically, any material which could potentially be talking about Open 
Source Geospatial Software.

For Project Quickstarts:
I see the Quickstarts as likely being the seed for a comprehensive OSGeo 
training resource, including development of lecture notes, workshop 
notes, tutorials, books  "How to do XXX with Open Source application YYY".

My recommendation:
* I think that the OSGeo-Live project should mandate that Project 
Overviews should be available to be used under a CC-BY (without the 
viral "Share Alike"). There will be marketing advantage gained by 
allowing our overviews to be included in the types of documents above, 
and that many of these documents (such as newspapers or magazine 
articles) will not change a publishing policy to Creative Commons.

* The license policy for Quickstarts is one I'd like to hear debate about.
Should the minimum requirement for license be CC BY, or CC BY-SA?  
(Projects will always be able to license under a more permissive license 
if they choose).
There would be significant collective value gained if education 
institutions used and extended our Quickstarts, by building open 
training material on top of it.
However, there is significant cost involved in creating training 
material, and training is one way OSGeo businesses make money. Is it ok 
for OSGeo businesses to incorporate quickstarts into their much greater 
training material, but not give the training material back?
Are education institutions allowed to license material they create under 

[1] http://live.osgeo.org/en/overview/overview.html

On 18/06/11 12:09, Hamish wrote:
> Johan:
>> Definitely don't make it non-commercial. This is a vague term that
>> is hard to define.
> +1. This is often quite ambiguous at research universities, where grad
> students' stipends are funded by their supervisor's research contracts.
> This is what I added to grass_quickstart.rst,.. just before the 4.5 release:
> :License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported  (CC BY-SA 3.0)
> For works entirely composed by myself, ShareAlike are my terms of contribution.
> I am willing to compromise on the SA for overviews pages, as they contain
> minimal creative content, and are more likely to be the ones reused in the
> reports mentioned by Cameron. Beware of the cases where content is sourced
> from upstream!
> Also we must be explicit re. the screenshots on the help pages, often they
> are sourced from upstream and not under the same license as the ReST docs.
> Sure, diff't licenses are harder to clearly document, but anyone including
> content from a 3rd party needs to properly check their sources (ie the .rst
> files), there are no two ways around that.
> It should not be too hard to grep the .rst file and automatically add a
> custom line of text at the bottom of the page stating the per-page terms,
> if any.
> best,
> Hamish
> _______________________________________________
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> Live-demo at lists.osgeo.org
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Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Director
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

Think Globally, Fix Locally
Geospatial Solutions enhanced with Open Standards and Open Source

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