[Freegis-list] ecw binaries for linux
bernhard at intevation.de
Fri Jan 28 17:58:28 CET 2005
thanks for the interesting writeup!
On Thu, Jan 27, 2005 at 03:44:37PM -0500, Frank Warmerdam wrote:
> However, a review of the detailed "public use license agreement"
> shows that it still does not qualify as free software under the
> open source definition. In particular, the license forbids distributing
> directly modified copies of the source (though you can distribute the
> raw original, and patches).
Raw and patches are just barely making this Free Software,
(by the definition of the FSF, which the open source definition
shall match by definition. ;))
> The license also forbids using the code
> for implementation of "server" software or to support modified
> (incompatible) versions of the ECW format.
That is worse and renders it non-free in my opinion.
> I would add that ER Mapper also holds patents for which they only
> grant free permission to use as long as they are used to support
> the ECW format as they have defined it.
Another huge problem, though it might not make the software non-free
in a very strict sense as it restricts free and non-free software alike.
> I for one am still excited about finally having ECW support on linux,
> but I must confess that this announcement likely didn't belong on this
> list since it isn't free software in the strict sense of the term.
This discussion makes up for it.
In my opinion it is ontopic to discuss detailed licensing and
steps in the right direction.
And it certainly is a very good step forward to get the source code
for ECW support under the most liberal terms ever.
Now we only need to get the last bits, too.
Of course the software patent problem goes beyond what a single
company can solve.
> Even in practical terms, I believe the restriction on server software
> means it would be illegal to use the ECW SDK under the public
> license with MapServer. I would encourage folks wanting to use
> the software to read over the license agreement carefully.
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