2009.10.06 22:07 "[Tiff] SourceForge terms changes, heads up", by Bob Friesenhahn

2009.10.06 22:07 "[Tiff] SourceForge terms changes, heads up", by Bob Friesenhahn

You all may want to read the forthcoming SourceForge terms of use changes at "https://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/sitelegal/wiki/Terms%20of%20Use". Some of them are pretty huge.

A really huge change is that any uploaded code must use an "OSI-Approved License". This is the approach that Google took for its hosted projects, but of course those projects were carefully screened and often started from scratch.

Libtiff does not use an OSI-Approved License even though its license uses various phrases and terms similar to some of the OSI-approved licenses (close to http://opensource.org/licenses/historical.php).

There is a sort of waterfall effect from the new SourceForge policy. For example, GraphicsMagick uses libtiff in its Windows binary builds and also uses a bit of GPL/LGPL parts which require redistribution of all source code and/or objects necessary to rebuild the software. Since libtiff (and libjpeg, and maybe more) do not use an OSI-Approved License it then becomes contrary to SourceForge terms to distribute those parts via SourceForge, and (due to other license restrictions) and therefore not really possible to distribute the software via SourceForge.

Luckily, libtiff itself does not rely on SourceForge but it seems that the SourceForge change in terms may impact users of libtiff and other historical libraries which lack an OSI-Approved License.

Bob Friesenhahn
bfriesen@simple.dallas.tx.us, http://www.simplesystems.org/users/bfriesen/
GraphicsMagick Maintainer, http://www.GraphicsMagick.org/