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Re: [Duplicity-talk] Version 0.5.07 Released

From: Kenneth Loafman
Subject: Re: [Duplicity-talk] Version 0.5.07 Released
Date: Mon, 02 Feb 2009 09:21:34 -0600
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20090105)

Michael Terry wrote:
> 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
> explanation.
> 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

I know you are not being aggressive, and I appreciate it.

As to who to contact re copyright issues, it would have to involve a bit
more than a simple bug fix (a few lines) and would have to still be in
the current code (some modules completely rewritten).  This will reduce
the list of copyright owners to a small number.

I will release a new version with the GPLv2 version backed out today.

I really bollixed up the process on this one.  My apologies to all that
have contributed.  I hope we can come to an agreement on this soon and
get on with improving duplicity big time.


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