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From "Chris A. Mattmann (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] [Commented] (LEGAL-143) Accepting OSGeo GeoTk contribution into Apache SIS and relicensing GeoTk code
Date Tue, 14 Aug 2012 06:16:37 GMT

    [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-143?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel&focusedCommentId=13433932#comment-13433932

Chris A. Mattmann commented on LEGAL-143:

+1 from me. 

I will close this issue as resolved in 72 hours if there are no objections under "lazy consensus"

> Accepting OSGeo GeoTk contribution into Apache SIS and relicensing GeoTk code
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: LEGAL-143
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LEGAL-143
>             Project: Legal Discuss
>          Issue Type: Question
>            Reporter: Chris A. Mattmann
> We would like an advise on our ability to re-license our own work to Apache 2 for donation
to an Apache project. For the context, our discussion in the Apache project can be seen there:
> http://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/incubator-sis-dev/201207.mbox/browser (see the
"Exploring possible contribution" thread) 
> There is the situation:
> From 1997 to 2002, Martin Desruisseaux worked on a personal project called "Seagis" under
LGPL license.
> In 2002 he joined a new project called "GeoTools 2" and transferred the totality of Seagis
code to GeoTools 2. The project license is LGPL 2.1.
> Until 2008 they were no legal foundation - consequently the copyrights belonged to their
> In 2008 Martin was the most ancient active GeoTools 2 contributor and the most active
one according Ohloh statistics on Subversion commits. He or others working with him at his
company were the authors of about 40% of the GeoTools 2 code base at that time.
> In January 2008 they signed a Copyright Assignment to the OSGeo foundation (http://download.osgeo.org/osgeo/legal/).
OSGeo is a non-profit organisation similar to Apache, devoted to the promotion of open source
softwares. Copyright Assignment is not the usual way to contribute to OSGeo projects; other
projects (to our knowledge) use the Contributor Agreement (http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Contributor_Agreement)
which does not transfer copyright. Martin and others signed a Copyright Agreement on a voluntary
basis in the good faith that it would be in the project interest.
> In June 2008 they started a fork of GeoTools 2 based mostly - but not entirely - on their
own work. At first it was aimed as a branch for doing cleaning work. But in 2009, disagreements
with some other GeoTools members made the fork permanent.
> Now Martin and the GeoTk team would like to give those 15 years of work to the Apache
foundation. There is no contentious about the work done after June 2008. Their issue is about
the work they did before June 2008, because of the copyright assignment. They asked to OSGeo
the permission to re-license their own work from LGPL 2.1 to Apache 2, with all other contributions
removed. To date, they haven't received a formal answer from the OSGeo board. The board seems
to wait for the position of the GeoTools Project Management Committee. However the debate
on the GeoTools committee mailing list suggests that the competitive threat that an Apache
project could be is a significant factor influencing their decision.
> While they will wait for OSGeo formal position, they would like to prepare ourselves
to alternatives. Martin and others would appreciate pretty much advice on the following point:
> Does the following paragraph in the Copyright Assignment grants re-licensing rights to
the contributor for his own work? "The Foundation hereby grants the Contributor the non­exclusive,
perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty­free, license to use, copy, prepare derivative
works of, publicly display or perform, and distribute the Submission."
> Any advice would be appreciated.

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