[postgis-users] Re: [postgis-devel] PostGIS jdbc license

strk at refractions.net strk at refractions.net
Thu Dec 9 10:07:15 PST 2004

On Thu, Dec 09, 2004 at 02:31:36PM +0100, Markus Schaber wrote:
> [X-Post to postgis-users and postgis-devel, but follow-up to
> postgis-devel, as I think that's the better place for this discussion.]
> Hi,
> As the PostGIS jdbc driver extension classes don't have any explicit
> licensing statements, I assume that they are GPL as the rest of PostGIS
> is.
> As the PostgreSQL jdbc driver itsself has a BSDish license, it is
> possible to use it in non-GPL applications.
> My suggestion is to re-license the PostGIS jdbc code under LGPL. This
> would keep most benefits of the GPL, but allow for broader usage. It
> would also fit the library character of the code. Those classes are
> meant to be included in third party apps, as opposed to the main PostGIS
> code that is to be used server-side (where the main knowledge is). Other
> projects, e. G. JTS, which includes similar and broader functionality,
> also use LGPL.

The main benefit of GPL is its 'tainting' of derived code.
GPL code does not *want* to help development of non-free code,
it has been explicitly designed for the purpose.

The LGPL has been renamed to Lesser GPL since early 1999,
to discourage the 'better fits to a library' assumption.

> I ask this question now because we have some small patches for this code
> in the queue that will be submitted. When the PostGIS jdbc developers
> agree to re-license under LGPL, then our submissions will be under LGPL,
> too. When the discussion ends in staying with plain GPL, our submission
> will be GPL.
> When you stay at GPL, we will have to reimplement some of the
> functionality for one of our projects, and this might reduce future
> contributions from us.

What prevents you to licence your product under a GPL licence ?

> Note that we would not want you to change to a BSDish license as we
> prefer copylefted licenses like the LGPL. Also, we do not want to urge
> you in any way, we just would like to know what you think about it, so
> we can decide the way for us to go.

Why do you find LGPL better then BSDish ?

> I'm currently doing some polishing on the patches, and will send them
> here soon, so you can have a look at them.
> Thanks for your efforts,
> Markus Schaber

Thank you for the patches.

> -- 
> markus schaber | dipl. informatiker
> logi-track ag | rennweg 14-16 | ch 8001 zürich
> phone +41-43-888 62 52 | fax +41-43-888 62 53
> mailto:schabios at logi-track.com | www.logi-track.com
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