I'll also post my reply to freemind-developer mailing list, as agreed.
1. The hosting server of an open source project is not an owner of the authorship of the code. The authorship resides with the respective contributors of the individual contributions. Moving a project to another server or a hosting service does not change the authorship and the licensing of the code and of other information objects of the project. Specifically, SourceForge does not hold copyright in FreeMind code.
2. Freeplane is a fork of FreeMind; thus the major contributors to FreeMind including Joerg Mueller, Daniel Polansky, Petr Novak, Christian Foltin and Dimitry Polivaev hold authorship is some parts of Freeplane. I am surprised to read you mention that Freeplane solves licesing differently from FreeMind; it cannot do so without violating the copyright law. Specifically, I am the author of some of the parts of Freeplane, as is Joerg Mueller, and others, and the Freeplane team can do nothing about it, no matter what kind of voting or agreement the Freeplane team reaches.
3. I understand that you are trying to make it possible to relicense SimplyHTML. Currently, SimplyHTML is licensed under GNU GPL V2+, which is on purpose and is compatible with the GNU GPL licensing landscape. I do not see any specific need to license SimplyHTML differently. GNU GPL V2+ includes the upgrade path to GNU GPL V3, which has been made compatible with more open source licenses.
4. The licensing text that you proposed looks overall suspect to me, also because of what I have mentioned in 1. It seems to try to license the code under the multitude of all the licenses approved by OSI. Is this a new invention? Is there an open source project that you can refer me to that is using such a licensing scheme?
5. Some time ago, you have posted some mail concerning the need to change the licensing of FreeMind. In that thread, you have written that you will do some research and come back with the results. Are there any news on that? Is there any specific reason why the upgrade path to GNU GPL V3 that FreeMind is open to would be unfeasible?
I wanted to try my concept first in small, but I'm fine with this.
Dan Polansky wrote:
may I forward your proposal to freemind-developer mailing list?
On Sun, May 24, 2009 at 1:37 PM, Eric Lavarde <Eric@lavar.de <mailto:Eric@lavar.de>> wrote:
while doing some cleanup on SimplyHTML (and merging Dan's changes
into MAIN), an idea came to my mind (which could be applied as well
to FreeMind/Freeplane, but that's another -more complicated- story).
Before I work on it and try to contact the original author, I'd like
to discuss it with you.
Problem: after a while, major changes to the licensing conditions
are next to impossible because old/disappeared contributors/authors
can't be joined anymore, or quite a pain in the... bottom because of
too many copyright owners, but such changes can't be done without
the agreement of all the copyright owners.
We're facing this issue currently with FreeMind (and I'm not sure
we've solved those with Freeplane).
Proposed solution: change the copyright to something like "The
SimplyHTML project on SourceForge", listing the original copyright
owners as 'Main contributors' where the meaning is (to be described
> "The SimplyHTML project on SourceForge" is represented by the active
> Project Admins and Developers registered on the 'simplyhtml' project
> hosted at http://sourceforge.net/. An unanimity of the Project Admins
> together with a majority of the Developers can decide upon the
> following points:
> 1. change the hosting partner and hence the copyright owner, like to
> 2. change the license under which SimplyHTML is offered, to
> another Open Source License as approved by http://opensource.org/.
> Further copyright relevant decisions need the approval of the
> individuals listed as main contributors of the specific source code.
I'm not expecting that it's completely juridically bullet proof, but
the only ones who could complain are the main contributors (you and
Ulrich Hilger), and if you/they agree, nobody can complain.
What do you think?