[Freegis-list] Re: [Fwd: iGMT licensing]

Thorsten Becker becker@geophysics.harvard.edu
Tue, 6 Feb 2001 14:02:48 -0500

On Tue, 6 Feb 2001, Bernhard Reiter wrote:

> Thorsten,
> thanks for sharing iGMT with us.
> Let me again say that it is not my attention to question your
> intention in licensing iGMT in the way it is. 
> I am just trying to explain it a bit, why I think that a different
> license might even be more useful. Feel of course free to disagree.
> Thinking a lot about this, I cannot see how this restriction can be
> useful in practice. The distinction between military purposes and
> purposes you allow is not sharp. A lot of research is done which
> ultimatly leads to military use. You also will not be able to really
> enforce these restrictions in reality. Another question about
> military purposes being morally good or bad is a matter of the situation.
> There are situations were you also will agree that military force is
> needed.
> I might add a small story here. The Forein Minister of Germany
> Joschka Fischer is a member of the green party which is known be
> pacifistic. In the Kosowo crisis he was caught in a conflict between
> agreeing to military actions or oppose them. It was a hard decision
> as if you buy into the view that some slaugthering of a ethic
> minority was going than not taking action would be a military
> decision to tolerate this.

obviously we have no means of enforcing any of the licensing restrictions.
we therefore leave it to the user to decide if his usage of igmt is
ethically compliant with the license of igmt or not. as you might see on
our user list, we have some military organizations on them. if these
people use igmt for mapping their gardens in their spare time, we are
happy with that. however, we prefer to express our personal ethical bias
in the licensing.

> > 	If you are concerned by our deviation from the GPL, I suppose you
> > will have to take iGMT off your next release of the free GIS disc. 
> We will use the latest version which was Free Software, 
> if we have to other choice. :(
> Do you know which was the last one you have published under GPL?


> > You might want to include a link to our newest version, however,
> > to inform users about the availability of a restricted license
> > version.
> Coming to think of it there might be a problem with the restricted
> license for you, too:
> iGMT is completly dependant on GMT and GMT is released under GPL. 
> Based on the legal interpretation on what a derived work is,
> iGMT might be a derived work and therefore you would not be able to
> legally use iGMT with GMT under a non GPL-compatible license.

i interpret 'derived' as including gmt source or something like that which
we don't. i therefore consider it appropriate that igmt has it's own

> Regards,
> 	Bernhard
> -- 
> Professional Service around Free Software                (intevation.net)  
> The FreeGIS Project                                         (freegis.org)
> Association for a Free Informational Infrastructure            (ffii.org)
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  Thorsten W. Becker_________________becker@geophysics.harvard.edu 
  Earth and Planetary Sciences
  Harvard University                         phone: 1.617.495.8986
  20 Oxford Street                             fax: 1.617.495.8839
  Cambridge MA 02138, USA       www.seismology.harvard.edu/~becker