Re: Maxmind GeoIP/Geolite license change
On Sat, Jan 04, 2020 at 12:44:49AM +0100, Patrick Matthäi wrote:
> So if we are not allowed to distribute it anymore we have got the
> following options:
> 1) we keep the the current free database in our repository, which is
> free and works. We dont care about the precision after X years (not our
That would be (very) misleading and I'm not sure if it would be in the
service of our users. The data gets stale really quick --I think it was
something like 2-5% loss per month? My opinion is that shipping no data
is better than shipping garbage data...
> 2) we drop the database package. Also if it is something like contrib,
> but if there is no free working alternative, shouldnt we (as in Debian
> as open source community) then also remove all libraries and
> implementations using GeoIP from Maxmind from our repositories?
I don't agree with that; the libraries are free-libre, the file format
is open and freely documented (CC-BY-SA 3.0), and there are both readers
and writers for those formats in the archive. There are even
free-as-in-beer databases available in the wild, although that wouldn't
even be a requirement IMO. There is nothing in the DFSG that says that
software is free-libre only if it operates on publicly available
> 3) We/others/I and others start a fork: I would welcome volunters to
> start a fork to maintain the database, so that it is not useless in a
> few years, but this is also one of my last options. I would like to have
> a solution with Maxmind together.
I wouldn't mind that option of course, but I have my doubts it'd be
successful... That's essentially MaxMind's entire business that you'd be
trying to replicate, after all :)
How about option (4):
- We drop geoip-database, assuming that we determine we can't legally
distribute it anymore, or ship it in non-free if we determine we can.
[I haven't read the terms yet]
- We let users generate and/or ship their own MMDBs. For example,
organizations may have internal data in their databases of sufficient
accuracy that they can use to generate MMDBs and use them locally.
- Optionally, users can also use geoipupdate, which is already in Debian
(and in contrib). They can sign up on maxmind.com, for either a free
or paid account, configure geoiupdate with their username & license
key and get fresh and up-to-date databases. They can continue to use
all MMDB/GeoIP2 software as they previously did.
Definitely not as easy to set up or practical as the previous situation,
but still better than options 1-3 I think :)
> So @Maxmind:
My intepretation of the change is very different than yours, but I'll
avoid speaking for MaxMind folks here :)