[TangerineSDR] Tangerine licensing

Dr. Nathaniel A. Frissell Ph.D. nathaniel.frissell at scranton.edu
Tue Apr 7 11:35:58 EDT 2020

Hi John,

I agree. I just replied to the thread on the main list. I am realizing that this is a bit complicated, because of the fact we are using federal grant money and there are a number of collaborating institutions. On the plus side, we have the original grant proposal as the original agreement to point to. Also, there are NSF policies that may provide guidance.

Since the University of Scranton is officially the lead institution on this grant, I think I need to work with our Office of Research and Sponsored Programs in developing this agreement. We are also going to involve the other collaborating institutions.

Before I go off sending them an e-mail, do you guys want to have a chat/telecon to talk about this a bit more?

73 de Nathaniel 

-----Original Message-----
From: TangerineSDR <tangerinesdr-bounces at lists.tapr.org> On Behalf Of John Ackermann N8UR via TangerineSDR
Sent: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 11:05 AM
To: Dr. Nathaniel A. Frissell Ph.D. via TangerineSDR <tangerinesdr at lists.tapr.org>; Scott Cowling <scotty at tonks.com>; Steven Bible <steven.bible at gmail.com>
Cc: John Ackermann N8UR <jra at febo.com>
Subject: Re: [TangerineSDR] Tangerine licensing

Just to Nathaniel, SteveB, Scotty --

We probably should have a conversation about licensing for the PSWS project to get this settled.  Much, much better to do it sooner rather than later.


On 4/7/20 8:30 AM, Dr. Nathaniel A. Frissell Ph.D. via TangerineSDR wrote:
> Hi John,
> Is it possible to start with GPL and then relicense as BSD if needed? I think this gives us the most protection now, and opens the possibility for wider adoption in the future.
> 73 de Nathaniel W2NAF
>> Dr. Nathaniel A. Frissell, Ph.D., W2NAF HamSCI Lead Assistant 
> Professor Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering University 
> of Scranton
> (973) 787-4506
>> On Apr 2, 2020, at 11:18 PM, Rob Wiesler via TangerineSDR <tangerinesdr at lists.tapr.org> wrote:
>> On Thu, Apr 02, 2020 at 11:45:07 -0400, John Ackermann N8UR via TangerineSDR wrote:
>>> We should formalize the requirements for licensing Tangerine 
>>> hardware and software work product.
>>> For software, I would recommend simply requiring an OSF-approved 
>>> open source license.  We should consider a copyright assignment from 
>>> contributors, as discussed below.  While I'd personally prefer to 
>>> use GPL, that could be an inhibiting factor for some organizations 
>>> that might be involved so I'm comfortable with allowing any OSF license.
>> We often won't have very much leeway to choose a license.  For 
>> instance, GNU Radio plugins will probably have to be GPLed, as they 
>> are derivative works of GNU Radio.
>> It's good to note that bounding software components (and their 
>> licenses) tightly makes a lot of licensing issues go away.  For 
>> instance, we'll probably want our GNU Radio-related components to 
>> consume input and publish output in a standardized fashion anyway, 
>> but as a side effect, this means that whatever's on either side of 
>> those components won't be a derived work, meaning it won't have to be 
>> GPLed.  And if we do choose to use the GPL for any components, 
>> properly defining the limits of the license are critical - for 
>> instance, it's common to license libraries under a variant of the GPL 
>> that specifically mentions that it's okay to link against OpenSSL, so 
>> that users of the library don't have to choose between the two 
>> libraries (as the GPL is incompatible [0] with the Apache 1.0 license that OpenSSL used to be licensed under).
>> By the way, OpenSSL did switch to Apache 2.0, which is compatible 
>> with the GPL (version 3 only) (asymmetrically - see [2]).  They did 
>> this using a Contributer License Agreement [1] (which often involves 
>> a copyright assignment).  It still took them two or three years to 
>> complete the process, because they had to hunt down every single 
>> contributer whose copyrighted code remained in the project and ask 
>> them to switch licenses (just identifying them is often 
>> nigh-impossible if your version control history isn't up to the 
>> task).  Then, for everyone who doesn't respond or refuses, the 
>> project had to replace what they wrote with something written from 
>> scratch under the new license.  Having a Contributer License 
>> Agreement means that the project (or a trustee) holds copyright over 
>> everything, or otherwise has been granted the rights necessary to 
>> simply change the license for everything in the project.
>> Here's some reading material:
>> [0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenSSL#Licensing
>> [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contributor_License_Agreement
>> [2] https://www.apache.org/licenses/GPL-compatibility.html
>> Here's a project I've been dealing with recently that has a license 
>> proliferation problem that has personally caused me grief:
>> [3] https://github.com/u-boot/u-boot/tree/master/Licenses
>> Here's a handy way to make it possible to determine what a file's 
>> license is in an automated fashion (which is more useful than you'd 
>> think, even when taking into account this statement):
>> [4] https://spdx.org/using-spdx-license-identifier
>> As far as a specific license to use (when we can choose), I'm quite 
>> happy with the GPL, but won't complain if a non-reciprocal license is 
>> chosen (for any given software component).  Everything I write at 
>> work is under the BSD 3 Clause license, except where the GPL is 
>> required (or simplifies things).
>> --
>> TangerineSDR mailing list
>> TangerineSDR at lists.tapr.org
>> http://lists.tapr.org/mailman/listinfo/tangerinesdr_lists.tapr.org

TangerineSDR mailing list
TangerineSDR at lists.tapr.org

More information about the TangerineSDR mailing list