[FGS] FGS and MrSID support in GDAL

Daniel Morissette dmorissette at mapgears.com
Tue Mar 25 15:28:24 EDT 2008

Forwarding mpg's reply to the list...

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE: [FGS] FGS and MrSID support in GDAL
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2008 11:44:27 -0700
From: Michael P. Gerlek <mpg at lizardtech.com>
To: Frank Warmerdam <warmerdam at pobox.com>,	Daniel Morissette 
<dmorissette at mapgears.com>
CC: fgs-list <foss-gis-suite at lists.maptools.org>

Daniel, et al:

Thanks for asking...  A couple years ago we spent some effort to make
sure that the MrSID SDK could be happily included in free/open packages
where the maintainer wishes to do so.  As Frank says, the best approach
for your users would be notify them by some mechanism that the package
includes a non-FOSS component, and maybe giving them an option to choose
it or not.  Some prefer to have 100% FOSS and some are okay with some
non-free code in there.

Of course you must include a copyright notice and a EULA, but for the
purposes of distributing a tarball or whatever it is sufficient to just
include the file in the kit.  See the file REDISTRIBUTABLE.txt which
attempts to set these terms out in English; for the non-English version,
see sections 1.2 and 2.1 of the license file.

(LizardTech would very much like to open source our decode SDK, but
3rd-party legal issues have prevented us so far.  We are continuing to
try to resolve this.)

If you have any questions, just ask -- I'll try to be as accommodating
as I can.

-mpg (not a lawyer, but nonetheless speaking officially for LizardTech)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Frank Warmerdam [mailto:warmerdam at pobox.com] 
> Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 11:00 AM
> To: Daniel Morissette
> Cc: fgs-list; Michael P. Gerlek
> Subject: Re: [FGS] FGS and MrSID support in GDAL
> Daniel Morissette wrote:
> > As we are working on a new release of FGS, one of the 
> questions that 
> > came up once again was whether we could include MrSID 
> support in the 
> > build that we distribute on the maptools.org site since the 
> DSDK is not 
> > free software as stated in the GDAL format docs at 
> > http://gdal.org/frmt_mrsid.html
> > 
> > Does someone familiar with the MrSID DSDK (FrankW?) know what our 
> > options are to include (or not) MrSID in public FGS builds? 
> I know this 
> > is a FAQ, but if someone has an answer already that would 
> save me some 
> > research.
> Daniel,
> Redistribution of software based on the MrSID DSDK requires the person
> installing the software to be presented with, and agree to 
> some particular
> information as I recall.  I'm not sure how this would be 
> accomplished with
> the FGS architecture.
> Furthermore, as distinctly non-free software, it is incompatible to
> distribute the MrSID SDK linked with GPL software.  So some care would
> need to be taken to *not* also distribute stuff like the GRASS driver
> for GDAL/OGR.  I believe it is also incompatible with the 
> "gpl-like" ecw
> license which would require that all other components of the software
> (linked at least) be source-available.
> My suggestion is to prepare an FGS MrSID plugin but do not manage
> it through the normal FGS mechanisms.  Instead offer it off a web page
> with the required legal notices.  Let the installer download and place
> it in their FGS tree manually.  As long as we explain the issues, and
> apply the appropriate notices on the web page I think it then becomes
> the end users job to ensure they are complying with the appropriate
> licenses.  For the most part (ie. GPL) an end user who does not
> redistribute software is allowed to mix proprietary and GPL software
> as they wish.  But we, as software providers, are not allowed 
> to do this
> for them.
> I hope this is helpful.
> In the case of OSGeo4W I'm hoping actually have an installer dialog
> which explains these issues before letting them proceed with MrSID
> driver installation.  But I'm not positive that even that would be
> sufficient.  I'm also hopeful that mpg will assist us in ensuring
> legitimate approaches (from the lizardtech requirements side of
> things) for OSGeo4W and perhaps FGS.
> Best regards,
> -- 
> ---------------------------------------+----------------------
> ----------------
> I set the clouds in motion - turn up   | Frank Warmerdam, 
> warmerdam at pobox.com
> light and sound - activate the windows | http://pobox.com/~warmerdam
> and watch the world go round - Rush    | President OSGeo, 
> http://osgeo.org

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