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Re: [OSGeo-Standards] OGC XML schemas and FOSS4G softwaredistribution

Hi Carl and others,

Thanks to Tom Kralidis for bringing this thread to my attention. I'm
bringing the Debian GIS team into the loop too.

On 02/13/2015 06:12 AM, Jody Garnett wrote:
> I think we better ask around for a contact at Debian (perhaps the person
> who reviewed pycsw can be approached?). Failing that we could review what
> the w3c has written which is apparently successful.

> On 9 February 2015 at 11:45, Carl Reed <creed@opengeospatial.org> wrote:
>> Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention. I will be chairing a
>> session at the Barcelona TC meetings to discuss some proposed changes to
>> the OGC Policies and Procedures. I would like to add this issue to the
>> agenda. Any ideas about possible solutions would be most welcome. Quite
>> honestly, in all my years at the OGC, I never read this section of the OGC
>> IPR FAQ. You are quite correct in your assessment – Clear as mud!

>> On 7 February 2015 at 07:01, Greg Troxel <gdt@ir.bbn.com> wrote:
>>> Jody Garnett <jody.garnett@gmail.com> writes:
>>>> It looks like the technical limitation (do not use the same namespace)
>>> is
>>>> getting in the way of software terms. Perhaps it could be relaxed to "do
>>>> not publish under the same namespace" (allowing its use in pycsw for
>>>> internal validation).
>>> I suspect Debian's issue is about following the DFSG, and having the
>>> right to make changes, rather than that they actually *want* to make
>>> changes now.   I maintain some packages in pkgsrc (multi-OS packaging
>>> system), and there we require non-Free licenses to be identified, which
>>> prevents building of the package by default.  But often Debian is in the
>>> lead for identifying these sorts of issues.
>>> Also, if you said "permission granted under copyright law, but we ask as
>>> a courtesy that you not do X", that's probably ok with Debian (I can't
>>> speak for them, but it would not be an issue in pkgsrc).

The issue with the OGC Document & Software Notice terms in Debian are
indeed their non-compliance with the Debian Free Software Guidelines and
specifically the right to modifications. To quote the relevant clauses
of the DFSG:

3. Derived Works

   The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must
   allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of
   the original software.

4. Integrity of The Author's Source Code

   The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in
   modified form only if the license allows the distribution of "patch
   files" with the source code for the purpose of modifying the program
   at build time. The license must explicitly permit distribution of
   software built from modified source code. The license may require
   derived works to carry a different name or version number from the
   original software. (This is a compromise. The Debian group
   encourages all authors not to restrict any files, source or binary,
   from being modified.)


The problematic OGC license terms were first discussed with the Debian
FTP master after they rejected the upload of TinyOWS. The tinyows
packages was already included in UbuntuGIS and OSGeo-Live for some time,
but it never found its way into Debian.


I've written to site-policy@opengeospatial.org to discuss this issue,
but I never received a response. Please refer to the debian-gis list
archive for the message in question.


One way to address this issue is to change the DFSG, adding another
compromise for standards related files. But changing the DFSG requires a
General Resolution with a 3:1 majority to be accepted, because changing
a Foundation Documents (Social Contract & DFSG) is not taken lightly in
the Debian project.


Debian doesn't include RFCs for similar reasons to those with the OGC
notice terms. The new IETFS copyright notice explicitly forbids
modifications not approved via the standards process.


To deal with the problematic OGC notices the problematic files are
excluded from the Debian package where possible. The CITE tests included
in TinyOWS & PostGIS are removed for their Debian packages. The XSD
schemas are not so easily stripped from the packages because they are
more essential to the operation of the programs unlike their testsuites.

Most CITE tests ship with the OGC Document Notice included, which makes
sense for their role in assuring standards compliance, but their role in
software would make the more permissive Software Notice more appropriate.

Both the OGC Document Notice and the OGC Software Notice are problematic
with respect to the DFSG. The first paragraph of the Software Notice

 By obtaining, using and/or copying this work, you (the licensee)
 agree that you have read, understood, and will comply with the
 following terms and conditions.

This is not possible in the Debian package management, prompting to
accept license terms is not possible before obtaining the work. The
package first needs to be downloaded from the repository (obtained)
before the debconf prompt can be used to allow the user to accept or
reject the terms and conditions.

Luckily this was not problematic enough to also reject TinyOWS from the
non-free repository, but not having it in the main repo is a pain
(non-free is not autobuilt by default for instance).

Please refer to the email by Thorsten Alteholz in the thread he spawned
with the rejection of the Debian package for TinyOWS.


In that message Thorsten also requests an clear statement from OGC about
which terms apply to CITE tests.

It would be very helpful if OGC could join the discussion with the
Debian FTP masters to clearify their position.

Because a change in the Debian projects strict adherence to the DFSG is
not expected in the short term, it would also be very helpful if the
terms for OGC standards works could be changed to be more permissive
with modifications. This would greatly ease work required to include
OSGeo software with OGC works in Linux distributions, not only Debian.
Debian is just one of the strictest in upholding the principals of Free
Software, only the FSF endorsed distributions are even stricter.

Kind Regards,


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