[Fedora-packaging] License issue for all GIS related packages. [call for help]

Tom "spot" Callaway tcallawa at redhat.com
Wed Jun 13 15:02:37 UTC 2007

On Wed, 2007-06-13 at 16:41 +0200, Balint Cristian wrote:
> Hello folks,
>    All GIS packages (from fedora-extras now fedora) suffer a missing of geodetic constants
> sets from www.epsg.org (very important for GIS otherwise) becouse of license issues. I 
> personaly tried to add some packages to fedora and maintain those,  but basicly some of tham 
> are pure repack of tarballs and removal of some doubted piece of code. I am a GIS fan, i tryed my 
> very best to shape and polish up all GIS related packages and its related libs: ogdi, gdal, grass, 
> mapserver, but without geodetic constants is like in math trigonometry without PI constant ...
>   Its very frustrating that tons of GIS code depends on a simple collection of 'constants' like PI
> one from math, in a simple excel like file  ...
>   The problem, more exactly, is with this dataset aviable at: http://www.epsg.org, (the organisation 
> who collected datasets and made them aviable), under EPSG Version 6.12 Online Documentation 
> there is an 'Use of data' section with the license, you can follow it to read.
> The hurting license text is:
> 3. The data may not be distributed for profit by any third party;
>   After some mail excenge between OSSgeo (http://www.ossgeo.org) chairman who is olso very
> interested as open source party of GIS, me and other folks, EPSG proposed a draft and called OSgeo
> to review it. Fortunatley OSgeo has no lawyer they kindly pass this away with the reason that they 
> are not lawyers too :) and the whole thing remain stalled. 
>    I would like if someone look into attached proposal from OSgeo, and  if its OK i would like to invite him 
> to help me out in a possible discuss with Roger Lott (chairman of EPSG) as per a good law technical one.
>    I attach the new version of license draft proposed by EPSG itself, a preliminary verdict that validate 
> its usability for open source scope would be fine , before start to talk with EPSG ...

The new license looks ok to me, I will pass it along to the FSF for
review, even though the EPSG dataset is content, not code, their opinion
is always valued on licensing matters.


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