[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [Duplicity-talk] Version 0.5.07 Released

From: Michael Terry
Subject: Re: [Duplicity-talk] Version 0.5.07 Released
Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2009 10:04:32 -0500

On Mon, Feb 2, 2009 at 7:39 AM, Kenneth Loafman <address@hidden> wrote:
> I know what Tivoization is and they can't do that.  The entire source of
> their product is available for download and nothing is missing.  You
> could rebuild the system and use your own version if you wanted.  That
> is not a problem.  As to patents, no, they are FOSS supporters.  They
> just released a major piece of software as open source themselves, so I
> doubt this is the case at all.

I figured you did know tivoization, since you didn't act confused when
I mentioned it before.  :)  I just included the link to help other
people on the thread.  Again, I'm not trying to be aggressive.  Please
read my emails in the kindest possible way.  :)

So I had a real quick chat with Andrew the Lawyer.  He was busy, so I
didn't get a full legal counseling.  He did say:

1. Apparently the legal test for what consitutes a copyrightable
work/patch is having 'a modicum of originality'.

2. It's true that one can't relicense from GPLv3 to GPLv2 unless all
copyright holders release their code under GPLv2.  If they don't, the
code has to be redeveloped, presumably under some sort of 'clean room'
environment.  As far as the GPLv3 is concerned, a relicense to GPLv2
is in the same boat as if you relicensed to a completely unrelated
license like BSD.

So, that seems to indicate to me that all people who submitted patches
since duplicity switched to GPLv3 have to OK this relicensing.  Until
that happens, you legally don't have the right to distribute a GPLv2
version of current duplicity.

So I asked Andrew the Lawyer 'What if this company writes the code
under GPLv2+ and Ken takes the code as GPLv3+' (since their patches
would allow you take them as a later version of the GPL).  The FSF's
FAQ says that this doesn't mean the company would give up its patent
rights [1].  Which is kind of an odd loophole to me.  But maybe
whatever concerns they have with GPLv2 would be solved by doing this,
since apparently not all the protections of the GPLv3 apply in this
case.  Andrew wasn't familiar with this part of the license or FAQ.
Although, reading that license, if they subsequently 'conveyed' (i.e.
distributed) a GLPv3 duplicity, they would be activating the patent
(and maybe other parts) of the GPLv3.

So...  If the company in question is adamant, I see at least two options:

1) They could use the older version of duplicity that was released
under the GPLv2+ (again, assuming old duplicity did in fact use the
or-later wording).
1a) If they also release their patches as GPLv2+, we could optionally
take their patches as GPLv3 and apply them to trunk.

2) We engage in a relicensing effort, contacting all the contributors
that wrote a patch that shows a 'modicum of originality' and get them
to agree to relicense.

Presumably #2 would involve explaining to contributors why the
relicense is a good thing, so I'm curious to hear the company's

Again, I don't mean to be a dick even though I know this next sentence
sounds dickish, but here goes:  It would be a good-faith showing on
your part to back out the GPLv2 relicensing and release a version that
you are legally allowed to distribute.

[1] http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#v2OrLaterPatentLicense


reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]