David Maguire writes:
There are two primary reasons why ESRI joined the group: the opportunity to work at a peer to peer level with smart developers so that we can build useful GIS code that will advance the GIS field; and to explore the community software development and open source licensing model.
Here's a couple tips -- as if this will be read ;) -- to get started: Buy and read Producing Open Source Software. Yes, buy it. Next, disabuse yourself of the misconception that the GPL is non-commercial (from Maguire's entry):
Products will be available using two licensing models: GNU General Public License (GPL); and a commercial use license.
Commercial use is not prohibited by the GPL. From the terms, 1:
You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, and you may at your option offer warranty protection in exchange for a fee.
This means that anyone can take GPL software from the 52N initiative, make a sexy box, nicely-bound manuals, and sell these physical copies for any price so long as they meet all terms of the license. If 52N seeks to own all commercial rights to the software, it will have to find a different license.
ER Mapper is another company that can't seem to get its head around around the GPL yet. They consistently refer to their non-commercial license as "GPL-like".
Thanks to James Fee for clueing me in.