[OSGeo-Standards] Lidar News magazine false statements on (L)GPL (Was REPORT: my OGC membership slot)

Johan Van de Wauw johan.vandewauw at gmail.com
Mon Sep 21 02:38:19 PDT 2015

On Fri, Sep 18, 2015 at 6:31 PM, Martin Isenburg
<martin.isenburg at gmail.com> wrote:

> Another curious thing is that I (and the open source license LGPL) was
> attacked vehemently in a recent column called "Open Source Mania" by Lewis
> Graham that was published in the LiDAR News magazine. Viewer discretion
> advised and parental guidance suggested ... you will not like this FUD
> attack:
> http://www.lidarmag.com/PDF/LiDARNewsMagazine_Graham-OpenSourceMania_Vol5No4.pdf

I read the article and there are a lot of statements there which are false.
" if you touch a piece of GPL code with the nine foot pole of
launching it with a Python script, that script must now be GPLed"
not true

"Suppose you have developed some very, very clever algorithm on which
you and your university have applied for a patent. If you have coded
your algorithm and used any GPL whatsoever, you just GPLed your
patent. The patent rights effectively transfer to the Open Software
Foundation for free distribution."

Completely untrue. The Open Software Foundation does not exist. You
don't transfer patent rights at all. A well known counter-example is
the algortihm for MP3, where the code (lame) was released under LGPL.

I think as OSGeo we should reply to the statements, this is an attack
on our community. Perhaps we can ask someone from the Free Software
Foundation Europe to help write a response?

Kind Regards,

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