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Re: The company that wants to contribute (was Re: [Duplicity-talk] Versi

From: edgar . soldin
Subject: Re: The company that wants to contribute (was Re: [Duplicity-talk] Version 0.5.07 Released)
Date: Thu, 05 Feb 2009 17:48:17 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20081209 Thunderbird/ Mnenhy/

Well said. Good will does not replace binding contracts (which a license is).

For my thesis in 2004 I had to research licensing as well and do generally feel competent in the matter. As with any legal problem nobody at any time knows all the answers and one must read through all the text, often repeatedly and even more often use a dictionary to grasp the actual meaning. But I am sure everybody can conquer this stuff. Especially with the help of websites as


Eventually to state my point of view. Until now duplicity was and is again licensed GPL2+ . This ensures mainly that is stays open and additions as well as derived works* have to oblige to the GPL2+ conditions. Meaning it ensures that third parties cannot act vampire like but have to contribute their enhancements and changes, if they do any.

Regarding duplicity I see a currently licensed code, that can't be relicensed without consulting all contributors of non-trivial code that is still in the code base. Usually, especially for older projects this is impossible. The other approach would be (Ken mentioned it) to rewrite portions of not reachable/willing contributors. My point here is that the GPL2 is enforcing the open source idea. Duplicity and its users only have advantages from that and where is the back draw in the fact that companies modifying duplicity are legally forced to publish their modifications?

Also an LGPL'd project is perfectly enabled to use duplicity, if they do not derive from it* . Only if they modify duplicity they have to publish these modifications. And wasn't this Ken's reason to switch first hand?

I also agree to Greg's point. If any such questions arise a counseling with fsf or the like, if only in the mailing lists really brightens up the developers perspective.

Pfuh .. sorry for being boring, it's so easy to get agitated. Very kind regards .. Ede

* meaning using it librarywise or link against it, (re)using it in a shell script or through command line does _not_ fulfill this criteria - ergo ftplicity and deja dup can have the license of their choice

On Thu, Feb 5, 2009 at 8:04 AM, Quim Gil <address@hidden> wrote:
You can ask about Nokia's behavior in other community projects around
GNOME, freedesktop.org, WebKit, Mozilla, Xorg, Linux Kernel... and now
KDE after the Trolltech acquisition. They tend to have good opinions for
what I can tell.

Since you suggested it— I can speak up with a view from another project:

Nokia's patent FUD and promotion of patent encumbered media codecs to
the W3C has been incredibly harmful to the adoption of free formats on
the web. 
 (although, fortunately, at least Mozilla has apparently determined
that Nokia's sabre rattling is without merit)

This activity is consistent with Nokia's long term advocacy for
software patents in Europe:

One of the primary purposes of GPLv3 over GPLv2 is assuring that
contributors and distributors do not later assert patents over the
distributed software.  The GPLv3 represents years of development
including extensive consultation with industry.  If Nokia's council is
has specific concerns related to GPLv3 doing something other than the
publicly stated purposes of protecting free software, than I'm sure
the FSF would be interested in correcting any such flaws in the
license.  In the absence of a public statement about how the GPLv3 is
doing something other than accomplishing its stated mission, it would
be reasonable to assume that someone who asks a project to avoid v3 is
interested in violating the stated mission of the license, or at least
preserving the possibility for the future.

Regardless of the good and honest intentions of the Nokia Maemo team
here legalese exists because honest intentions are not durable:
Honest intentions don't prevent a later rights holder from turning
patent troll. etc.

I would strongly encourage the duplicity developers to take broader
advice on this subject— I'm sure the FSF would be willing to provide
their take on the subject (and, I've found them to be quite reasonable
in the past, for example they recommended the X11 license for a
project rather than the GPL),  and the Software Freedom Law Center
(http://www.softwarefreedom.org/), an independent law firm for Free
Software/Open source projects may be willing to provide some advice.

As GPLv3 adoption increases more projects will likely receiver similar
requests.  While the final decision of licensing is a personal one for
the developers— many of the factors worth considering are common
across many projects.  By taking the time to make a considered and
informed decision here you may save other projects time and risk.


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