We have a received a request on geotools-devel to relicense a subset of the codebase under the apache license to facilitate collaboration with the apache sis-dev community.
The code contribution agreement, cited below, clearly allows contributors to continue to reuse and repurpose their own work. As such this proposal is strictly focused on establishing a working relationship with the Apache foundation to facilitate making a subset of the codebase available under a dual license.
The GeoTools project makes use of several apache projects, and is familiar with the requested Apache License.
To meet the above request:
- Letter of understanding between the OSGeo board and the Apache Foundation on the acceptance of the above project into incubation
- Cover the relicense of select contributions under Apache License 2.0
- The request is for a case-by-case selection of files - as such our existing procedure for migrating code between projects will suffice
- Email sent to geotools-devel notifying of the requested file, followed by approval from any PMC member
- Ensure headers carefully track and credit contributors
- To save time short list contributors who are confident their work can be relicensed outside stewardship of the GeoTools PMC. Apache Foundation may have some input on how word this.
- Martin Desruisseaux
- IRD institute
- Jody Garnett (for personal contributions)
Discussion on this topic has taken place on several geotools email lists:
- http://osgeo-org.1560.n6.nabble.com/Asking-permission-to-re-license-portions-of-GeoTools-2-6-2008-from-LGPL-to-Apache-td4989795.html initial request
And the next board meeting:
- http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/discuss/2012-July/thread.html#10657 OSGeo Discuss
- http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/discuss/2012-July/010683.html excellent summary
- http://mail-archives.apache.org/mod_mbox/incubator-sis-dev/201208.mbox/%3c85D9B49113C8482782BAFB4E23628E84@gmail.com%3e initial contact
Related discussion about migrating code between projects and carefully across license changes:
Alternatives shortlisted in email discussion:
- Dual-License (ie this proposal). The OSGeo Foundation has a mandate to promote the development of spatial software, under any OSI approved license. The GeoTools PMC entrusted with stwerdship of the codebase including the ability to approve a dual license. As such a dual license approach is feasible under foundation by-laws, and is within the mandate of the PMC.
This proposal offers guidance on how quickly isolate candidate code (using a whitelist of contributors) and how to dual license remaining code of interest (via email request).
- Relicense GeoTools. While this is an option, and would facilitate the above request, we would prefer to consider any relicense with due care.
- Case-by-case. Minimal license change approach, asking apache to review files on a case-by-case basis and contact us relicense the final set. The GeoTools PMC could provide an initial letter of understanding to the OSGeo board, and when the final list is obtained it can form the heart of a new change proposal transferring the code.
- Q: Does Apache Foundation incubation ask for copyright assignment?
A: The apache incubation policy does not appear to cover copyright assignment. Prefer OSGeo Foundation maintains copyright, and any derived work continues to list prior copyrights.
- Q: Does GeoTools plan to change license?
A: It is one of the options mentioned above, and thus we assume cause for confusion. This request is not sufficient motivation to change license.
- Q: Does GeoTools plan to join LocationTech?
A: There has been no contact between the organisations. The above email threads touch on GeoTK and GeoAPI considering joining LocationTech.
The uDig project has a long standing goal of outreach to the Eclipse community, and has arranged a specific exception for JTS and GeoTools LGPL dependencies.
- Q: I thought the GeoTools PMC rejected this change?
A: The proposal is currently under review, an prior email thread has been taken out of context
- Q: Can the board Dual License the codebase?
A: Section V of the code contribution indicates that the code base can be made available under another open source license, with the choice of license made in consultation with the group governing the project. The license chosen has to line up with the organisation by-laws, which place the responsibility for the codebase with the project steering committee.
- Q: Can Martin, as a contributor, relicense his submissions?
A: The quick answer is that he can do almost anything except relicense the work, as changing the license is listed as a board responsibility.
This proposal is in up for review:
- Andrea Aime:
- Ben Caradoc-Davies: +1
- Christian Mueller:
- Ian Turton:
- Justin Deoliveira:
- Jody Garnett: +1
- Simone Giannecchini:
- Martin Desruisseaux
- add your name here
- Determine what assurances the Apache Foundation needs in order to proceed
- Compose a letter of understanding, allowing the apache foundation to relicense a subset of the codebase
- Assemble a whitelist of contributors who's work can be dual-licensed without further consultation
- For code falling outside of the above whitelist our existing framework to relicense code should be sufficient.
- An email sent to geotools-devel notifying of the requested file, followed by approval from any PMC member
Apache 2.0 License
AFTER (using wording of current apache license):
Code Contribution Reference Material
This initial request is within the limits of the GeoTools code contribution agreement: GeotoolsAssignmentToOSGeo.pdf as detailed in the following sections:
Section II Assignment of Copyright
Section V. Obligations of the Foundation
The relative section of the above bylaws of the foundation mentioned above is:
Section VII. Assignment of Agreement