This page last changed on Jun 25, 2007 by cholmes.
Not Official Documentation

Warning: This document is not yet accepted as part of the GSIP process, it is a part of GSIP 15 - Contributor Agreements and Supporting Documentation, and will not be an official document until that proposal is accepted.

The GeoServer Project is following the lead of many open source projects, including Apache, the Free Software Foundation, Plone, and others, by having contributors sign an agreement for a single organization to hold the rights to GeoServer. The Open Planning Project (TOPP), a 501(c)3 non-profit based in New York City, has lead the development of GeoServer since its earliest days, and agrees to hold and protect the rights of GeoServer for the benefit of the community. This provides several benefits

Legal protection.

Assigning copyright to The Open Planning Project, provide clear legal provenance on the work. This allows TOPP to defend the project should there be a legal dispute regarding the software at some future time.

Minimizing confusion / maximizing business compatibility

Organizations considering adopting GeoServer have a simple answer for "Who owns this?", rather than a more complicated answer that might scare away potential users and collaborators.

Potential revenue for the GeoServer Project.

Organizations desiring GeoServer under a non-GPL license will be able to do so in exchange for a fee or other services. They will be able to build their tools on top of GeoServer, and can contribute back to GeoServer in ways other than open sourcing their whole code base. For more about this see the 'Community Licensing Model' section.

Guarantee to remain open source

Written in to the contributor agreement is the guarantee that the software will always be available under an open source license.

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