[QGIS-Developer] Copyright in a plugin?or idea?

Nathan Woodrow madmanwoo at gmail.com
Wed Oct 2 05:21:16 PDT 2019


Ideas are a tricky one.  There is no need to give someone else credit for
an idea if you don't want to, even if you feel you had it first. It's a
nice thing to do but not required by any means.  You can copyright your
code but that doesn't stop someone reimplementing your idea in a different
way, it's why we have 100 different browsers these days.  This is just how
the software world works generally.   We take ideas from others and
evolve them and you can draw inspiration from many places.  If you want to
keep an idea for you own you need a patent but good luck :)

For an example, I added and worked on the style dock (also for free ;) )
along with others for a very long time, one of my largest QGIS projects in
core, however at the time I wasn't aware the same thing was in ArcGIS Pro
before me, I simply didn't know.  I took inspiration from other tools like
CartoDB and Mapbox at the time. Same with ideas I have had while using
Excel etc (although I did give credit to them in my post about that feature)

>> but the original idea is mine

I would be careful going down this route IMO.   Mainly because I did it
back in 1.6 or so but never open-sourced it because my code sucked back
then. Customizing the QGIS UI has always been on my, and others, minds on
the project, and we work together to make it better.  Sure some people have
ideas and we get to take credit they are ours but in the end, we don't work
in a vacuum and we contribute to each other and the project in different
ways.   Just because someone writes the code doesn't mean they own the idea
and no one else can do it. I have let many other devs, mainly Nyall when I
bug him enough, implement ideas I have had and don't ask for credit, most
of the time he does other times not.   I'm not in this for fame.

So yes generally you should credit if you can because it's nice thing to do
but just be careful of cashing the "I did this for free and this idea was
mine first how dare you"  because, in the end, it will end in frustration.
A lot of us work for free on QGIS, many many hours, many many late nights.
The best thing you can do is reach out and try and join forces if you can,
which it seems they are keen on.

For context: I made Roam a tablet version of QGIS for Windows (the first
from what I know), and now there is QField, and Input both using the same
kind of ideas (using the QGIS libs in a standalone project).  Making a
tablet version of QGIS wasn't my idea I was just the first to make a
installable standalone version and pushed it out.  Like a lot of things in
life, it's about the advertisement around the things you make if you want
people to see you as the main go for the idea.

- Nathan

On Wed, Oct 2, 2019 at 9:57 PM Fran Raga <franka1986 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi, all
> Recently I found out about this plugin
> https://github.com/qgist/toolbargenerator, which was presented in the
> FOSS4G 2019 Bucharest. What surprised me is that this plugin has EXACTLY
> the same functionality as mine, implemented for QGIS 3
> https://github.com/All4Gis/CustomToolBar , which I developed without any
> funding.
> Not only it does the same but also it has the same limitations as mine
> (like i18n problems).
> The main difference lies on the fact that it stores the tools depending on
> the user profile (which in my plugin implies modifying 2 -and only 2-
> lines).
> I don’t mind if the code is better written or not, but the original idea
> is mine (moreover, it is completely functional in QGIS3) and I developed it
> four years ago.
> Four years ago I experienced the same situation with “QGIS themes”, which
> I developed and then, a core developer (Nathan) implemented a plugin and
> integrated it in the QGIS core. I wrote to him and he changed his entry
> indicating that this idea already existed (
> https://nathanw.net/2015/08/13/qgis-ui-themes-plugin/). I found it
> satisfactory, because this functionality had been already developed by
> another developer.
> I think that who had the original idea should be taken into account. We
> are in an Open Source world, where I sometimes have the impression that
> “anything goes”. However, if an idea already exists, the original author
> should be taken into account or at least, the original author should be
> cited in a visible place.
> Here you can find my discussion with the other author:
> https://github.com/qgist/toolbargenerator/issues/7
> I think that these situations discourage people to collaborate in QGIS and
> in the open source, in general, if the original idea and the developer work
> are not valued.
> regards
> *Francisco Raga** | *Full-Stack Open Source GIS Developer
> Móvil: (+34) 654275432* | *e-Mail: franka1986 at gmail.com *| *skype:
> francisco_raga
> Github: https://goo.gl/ydNTjY *| *Linkedin: https://goo.gl/TCfj8S *| *Site:
> https://goo.gl/qiypDj
> "La vida real no tiene ningún mapa.."  Ivy Compton Burnett
> _______________________________________________
> QGIS-Developer mailing list
> QGIS-Developer at lists.osgeo.org
> List info: https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/qgis-developer
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/qgis-developer
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/qgis-developer/attachments/20191002/ebf02621/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the QGIS-Developer mailing list