GeoTools Contribution Steps

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The GeoTools project has had some push back on contributor agreements, looking for a bit more from the board. They have proposed this plan:

Review the Fiduciary Agreement proposed by the Geotools project and plan steps to obtain a final draft:

    • Core geotools contributors want to make OSGeo the legal guardian of the code base by granting OSGeo a full copyright over our submissions. As part of this process, OSGeo and geotools need to agree on a legal document transferring copyright from individual geotools contributors to OSGeo. The agenda item requires the Board review the latest draft document and plan the steps required to obtain a final draft acceptable to the OSGeo board.
    • The proposed draft is presented at the bottom of the this page on the Geotools web site.
    • The draft is inspired mostly from the Free Software Foundation, Europe's FLA.
    • The draft does not consider patents and hence does not force contributors to assert that they are not knowingly including patented code. Frank felt that such language did not belong in a Copyright assignment. The omission makes the document more precise for copyright assignment but lessens its utility as a guarantor of the suitability for use of the code by the future licensees of OSGeo.
    • The paragraph in section IV stipulating that OSGeo commit to keep the code "free" has been left to the Board to write. Previous discussion mentioned this guarantee might be provided by reference to the OSGeo charter. We hope that the language could stipulate that any change in license would be undertaken according to the wishes of the active Project management committee.
    • This version does not contain the request for legal support from contributors in the event of a dispute which was present in the original OSGeo draft. It could if this were felt by the board to be important.
    • Someone will have to sign on behalf of OSGeo.
    • Questions should be addressed to the geotools developer's list geotools-devel@lists.sourceforge.net
    • Thanks and sorry to expose everyone to yet even more legalese.