[josm-dev] License clarification for JOSM plugins

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Mon Apr 14 18:58:10 BST 2008


> The provided JOSM license text LICENSE states V2 and unless all JOSM and 
> Plugin files clearly states "GPLv2 or later" somewhere (which they don't 
> do AFAIK), there's no legal way IMHO  to provide JOSM under GPLv3 - as 
> the license versions are not compatible.

Do I understand this correctly: Software can only be included in
Debian if it is "GPL v2 or later", and "GPL v2 only" is not enough?

I'm generally open to clarifying the license to be "GPL v2 or later",
but I have a sort of philosophical problem with it. Debian is one
distribution of many. Why should *we* do a lot of work so that *they*
have the GPL v3 clean distribution *they* want? 

What if they decide tomorrow that they'd rather have "GPL v2 only", or
what if another distribution of similar importance says they only
include software that uses 8.3 naming convention or something... do we
then make these changes as well?

Generally, the OSM spirit is: We do what we want, and if somebody
wants to use our data, they're free to work with it. If somebody comes
in and says "but I can't use your data because you have UTF-8 in your
tags" then we say "tough luck, live with it or find another project". 

Is Debian important enough to deviate from the way we usually do
things? Does it warrant an exception? Or is it just a bunch of guys
overestimating their importance? We can still make our software
available to Debian users through a repository of our own... do we
want to jump through the hoops they put up?


(written on a Debian system)

Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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